2015 RICOH Women’s British Open
July 31, 2015
IN NEED OF A SUNDAY CLOSE
Suzann Pettersen, who has posted five top-10 finishes in the seven major championships since her second major title at the 2013 Evian Championships, knows all about the position she finds herself on Sunday, entering one shot back of the lead. Pettersen was also one shot back of the lead a year ago entering the final round at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and the RICOH Women’s British Open and was unable to close either with a 76 and 75, respectively. The RICOH Women’s British loss was particularly shocking as Pettersen posted two double bogeys on Sunday to finish one shot back of Mo Martin in a tie for second.
But when a player like Pettersen continually gives herself a chance, it’s only a matter of time before the breakthrough comes.
“Last year was the closest I’ve been,” Pettersen said. “This year, I feel like I’m in a great position again, so I’ve got to do some homework now, go get some good rest and try and go all-in tomorrow. I’m going straight to the putting green and get the basics back for tomorrow. Just getting a good feel before I go back to the hotel.”
30 putts were all she believes separated her from being the 54-hole leader. That’s not the case with her ball striking, which has been as stout as anyone in the field with three consecutive rounds of 14 greens hit. After an opening nine 2-over-par 38, she was more than pleased to end the day only one shot back.
“I managed to get back to level par. One 3-putt cost me a bogey. The first hole was tough today. Through the rain, I kind of lost the speed of the greens a little bit,” Pettersen said. “Making the turn, two great birdies and I missed two great chances on 17 and 15. But glad I managed to hold it all together. Just one more day and I’m right where I want to be.”
YOUNGSTER READY FOR A RUN
There will be chances for history to be made on Sunday at Turnberry and Lydia Ko kept herself in contention to have a shot to become the youngest major champion in the women’s game. The 18-year old didn’t do herself any favors to start the day with a double bogey on the par 4 1st hole but managed to keep a clear mind and closed out with an even-par 72. She trails the lead by just three shots heading into the final round.
“Yeah, you know, I didn’t start off well. I doubled straight off the bat,” said Ko. “But I tried my best to kind of scramble away, make some birdies. I made two silly bogeys on 12 and 13 which kind of got to me a little bit. But I finished making two birdies out of the last four holes, and I’ve just got to continue that positive attitude to tomorrow.”
Five of Ko’s seven LPGA victories have been come-from-behind wins. She overcame a three-shot deficit at both the 2014 CME Group Tour Championship and the 2015 Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic.
ANOTHER NEW FACE
Jin-Young Ko is the newest face from South Korea to grace the leaderboard at an LPGA major and is another prime example of the deep talent pool that is coming out of the KLPGA over the past few years. Ko is making her major championship debut this week and said seeing her fellow countrywomen playing well gave her a bit of motivation.
“I saw Inbee playing well, and that’s kind of additional like motivation for me to play better golf, and Hyo Joo …we actually played together when I was young and still compete with each other till last year on the KLPGA,” said Ko. “So that’s another motivation for me to play better golf.”
Ko could become the third KLPGA member to claim a major championship in the last five majors joining Hyo Joo Kim (2014 Evian Championship) and In Gee Chun (2015 U.S. Women’s Open). Kim was the last player to win a major in her first appearance. Ko seemed to not be fazed by her position on the leaderboard.
“I feel nothing, not even nervous or anything,” said Ko. “I didn’t expect anything for this tournament…I’m leading, but I’m not nervous or anything. I just feel kind of nothing.”
STRONG IN THE TRAILING POSITION
Inbee Park is right within striking distance to achieve her biggest goal of her career: completing the career grand slam. Park is just three shots off the lead and has proven to be very dangerous when in the chasing position on Sundays. She has seven career come-from-behind victories and overcame a five shot deficit at the 2012 Sime Darby Malaysia and a four-shot gap at the 2013 Honda LPGA Thailand. She’s also done it twice in majors, at her first major victory, 2008 U.S. Women’s Open (two shots) and the 2014 Wegmans LPGA Championship (one shot).
“It’s just great that I get somewhat a chance instead of sitting at 3 or 4 over par,” said Park. “Having somewhat of a chance the last day was just a great opportunity. I get another crack at it. You just keep cracking and some day it’s
going to crack. That’s what I’m trying to do, just give it a try every time and that’s all I can do is play good golf and maybe enjoy one more day of Scotland.”
If Park is able to chase down the leaders tomorrow at Turnberry, she’ll have herself the grand slam and would tie the record for biggest come-from-behind victory at this major. Se Ri Pak trailed by four shots heading into Sunday in 2001 at Sunningdale.
Maria McBride’s pulled off one of the most stunning mid-tournament reversals in recent memory. For the first 12 holes Thursday, McBride was 9-over-par and appeared destined for a missed cut. But something changed when she hit the 13th tee box Thursday. In the 42 holes she’s played since, she’s 11-under-par.
During a second round where So Yeon Ryu said even par was “a really great score,” McBride went out in the absolute worst of the conditions late in the day and shot a 6-under-par 66 that three shots better than anyone else in the field, and she continued that Saturday with a 3-under-par 69 despite a double bogey at the ninth hole.
“I don’t know really. It’s really just coming down to a lot of confidence and trusting myself,” McBride said. “Obviously played the 12th hole Thursday, 9 over par, and all of a sudden I’m 2 under par. So really you have to trust yourself in these conditions, and yesterday was really, really tough.”
“But, you know, felt like I have had a chance to at least maybe make the cut, and just kept on going. Really, really focused and hit every hole by hole. I didn’t really make many putts, but I hit a few close and made what I needed to.”
At 2-under-par for the tournament, McBride’s in a tie for 12th heading into the final round and has played the last two rounds four shots better than anyone else in the field. If it weren’t for an abysmal Thursday start, she’d surely be in the lead but instead is six back heading into tomorrow.
“Yes, I think that’s why you’re attracted to golf. You never know what you’re going to get the day that you walk out there,” McBride said. “Today was better; obviously good after yesterday, and came out today and played solid. Could have made a few more putts coming in but very happy with the situation and where I’m at right now.”
BACK IN CONTENTION
Mika Miyazato posted six top-10 finishes in eight major starts from 2011 through 2012. But over her past 13 major championship starts, her best finish is a tie for 19th.
However, Miyazato’s game has turned for the better recently with a runner-up a month ago at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G, her best finish in nearly three years, and now she’s back in contention at a major and has a chance to challenge for her first career major championship win on Sunday.
She’s just two shots back in solo fourth and is hoping to best her fourth place finish at the 2012 RICOH Women’s British Open.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Her ranking is No. 1. She is my I like Inbee because Inbee is very good person and really good have a mentor. And putting, everything is to like, Inbee. If I win British Open, my life is maybe same.” - Jin-Young Ko on Inbee Park as a mentor to her
SHOW ME THE EAGLES
Seven total eagles were made on Saturday (Danielle Kang, Catriona Matthew, Mel Reid, Julieta Granada, Jane Park and Maria McBride) at the RICOH Women’s British Open and players raised $7,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project as part of the season-long Wounded Warrior Project® Weekends.
In all there have been 161 eagles recorded in 2015, raising $161,000.
Wounded Warrior Project® Weekends is a season-long charity program that will be tied into the Race to the CME Globe. Each Saturday and Sunday at LPGA tournaments, CME Group will donate $1,000 to Wounded Warrior Project® for each eagle that is recorded. This amount will increase to $5,000 for each eagle during the weekend of the CME Group Tour Championship and a formal check will be presented to the Wounded Warrior Project® during the trophy ceremony at the CME Group Tour Championship. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org