Friday’s Second-round Recap
Inbee Park hasn’t had to come from behind very often in major championships this season. But if Park’s streak of consecutive major titles is to reach four at the RICOH Women’s British Open this week, that’s exactly what she’ll have to do.
Park struggled as the winds picked up Friday afternoon at the Old Course at St. Andrews, shooting a 1-over 73 to put her at 2-under-par for the championship and eight shots out of the lead held by her friend and Rolex Rankings No. 4 Na Yeon Choi.
During a week in which all eyes have been focused on Park as she tried to become the first golfer—male or female – to win four professional majors in a season, the No. 1 player in the Rolex Rankings admitted Friday to feeling some of the pressure of her Grand Slam chase. But she stressed that it’s not hampered her in her chase but rather has given her confidence going forward.
“When you experience something big like this, some kind of big pressure like this, you're just really not afraid of any kind of pressure,” Park said. “How can it get bigger than this? If you experience something like this, you're just ready to go and ready to experience something ‑‑ anything's going to be less than this.”
Park certainly has her work cut out for her as she chases Choi, who seeks her second career major championship this week following a win at the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open. Choi fired a 5-under 67 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead over Japan’s Miki Saiki, who shot the round of the day with a 66.
While most of the low scores were found in the morning wave of play when the wind proved to be much calmer, Choi was one of the few players who was able to deliver a low number as the winds from the North Sea gusted up to 35 mph. Particularly impressive was Choi’s play on the more difficult back nine where she carded a 34.
“The weather wasn't good,” Choi said. “It was very hard. But my focus was very good and my caddie helped me a lot.”
She added, “I had a daily goal every day so I just tried to stick with the goal. It could be like par is 74 or 75 today, but I didn't care, like every hole, par 3, par 4, par 5, doesn't matter for me. I just try to play one shot at a time and I think that's why I had great results.”
American Morgan Pressel is alone in third place at 8-under-par following a 70 on Friday. Pressel is enjoying a resurgence in the majors this summer with a tie for third at the Wegmans LPGA Championship and a tie for 20th at the U.S. Women’s Open.
Rolex Rankings No. 3 Suzann Pettersen, South Korea’s Jee Young Lee and American Nicole Castrale are tied for fourth at 7-under-par.
For Park, the spotlight remains bright despite the eight shot deficit.
“You just never know what's going to happen the next two days,” Park said. “Especially if the conditions get tougher, I think anything could happen out here.”
A total of 69 players made the 36-hole cut which fell at 1-over-par 145
Topics: Ricoh Women's British Open