HATAOKA, JUTANUGARN, URIBE LEAD AFTER FIRST ROUND OF CP WOMEN’S OPEN
A trio of players at very different places in their LPGA careers sit atop the leaderboard at 8-under 64 after 18 holes at the CP Women’s Open. Ariya Jutanugarn, who won this event in 2016, is aiming for her fourth win of 2018, a season where she is leading the LPGA Tour in numerous statistical categories. Second-year player Nasa Hataoka struggled in her rookie year of 2017 but broke through in June for her first LPGA victory at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&B, while nine-year veteran Mariajo Uribe is still looking for her elusive first victory. The three players combined for 26 birdies and only two bogeys and sit one stroke clear of Angel Yin and Nanna Koerstz Madsen at 7-under 65.
Canadian favorite Brooke Henderson opened with a bogey but came back with four consecutive birdies at holes 4-7, finishing at 6-under 66 and in a seven-way tie for sixth, a group that includes three-time CPWO champion Lydia Ko.
REGINA OUT IN FORCE FOR CANADIAN FAVORITE HENDERSON
If you see a crowd on a Canadian golf course when the LPGA is town, you can pretty much bet they’re watching Canada’s own Brooke Henderson. That was certainly the case on Thursday, as throngs of Regina natives lined the first tee as Henderson opened her first round, and they stayed with her for all 18 holes.
“When I first teed off this morning the fairway was lined, and I wasn't necessarily expecting that. It was really amazing,” said Henderson, who carded eight birdies and two bogeys in her 6-under 66. “The crowds just seemed to hang with me all day, even though it's late in the day right now. Even walking up 18 there were tons of people.”
While Henderson has reached the weekend at the last four CP Women’s Opens, even she admits that the first round at her national championship has not necessarily been her friend. Today marks the first time she broke 70 in the first round, setting herself for what she hopes is a strong finish – and just maybe becoming the first Canadian winner of this event since 1973.
“If I can do something like this over the next three days I think good things could happen,” said Henderson, who could join Jocelyne Bourassa as the only CPWO winners from Canada. “I'm just taking it a shot at a time and day by day and hopefully climbing up the leaderboard a little bit every day.”
LEADERS SET WASCANA COURSE RECORD
With their first-round 64s, Nasa Hataoka, Ariya Jutanugarn and Mariajo Uribe set the course record at Wascana Country Club. The previous mark was 65, shot by Todd Fanning and Charles Fitzsimmons when the course hosted the 2017 Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship.
Rolex Rankings No. 15 Nasa Hataoka (64, -8)
- Hataoka is playing in her first CP Women’s Open/li>
- Her first-round 64 is tied for the second-lowest round of her LPGA career; she shot a 63 in her victory at the 2018 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G and returned 64s twice this year/li>
- She hit nine of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens, with 26 putts/li>
- This is Hataoka’s 19th event of the 2018 season; she took victory at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship and has six other top-10 finishes
Rolex Rankings No. 173 Mariajo Uribe (64, -8)
- Uribe is competing in her ninth CP Women’s Open; she has a best finish of T13 in 2014, but has missed the cut the last three years
- Her first-round 64 ties her career-low round; she previously shot a 64 in the fourth round of the 2017 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic, the second round of the 2017 Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic and the first round of the 2013
- ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open
- Her 64 is her lowest round of 2018, besting the 66 she shot in the first round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G
- She hit 11 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens, with 26 putts
- This is Uribe’s 19th event of the 2018 season; her best finish is T7 at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, and she has missed 10 cuts
Rolex Rankings No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn (64, -8)
- Jutanugarn is competing in her sixth CP Women’s Open; she won in 2016 and finished T14 in 2015, but missed the cut in 2017, 2014 and 2012
- Her first-round 64 is tied for her lowest round ever at the CP Women’s Open; she shot a second-round 65 en route to her 2016 victory
- She hit nine of 14 fairways and 17 of 18 greens, with 27 putts
- This is Jutanugarn’s 22nd event of the 2018 season; she has three victories (Kingsmill Championship presented by GEICO, U.S. Women’s Open and Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open) and 10 other top-10 finishes
- She currently leads the LPGA in the Rolex Player of the Year and Race to the CME Globe standings, and is first in scoring average, birdies, rounds in the 60s and top-10 finishes
- Defending champion and newly minted Rolex Rankings No. 1 Sung Hyun Park opened with a 2-under 70 and is tied for 52nd
- After 18 holes, Brooke Henderson is the low Canadian at T6 (-6); the low Canadian player after 72 holes will win the Sandra Post Award, while the low Canadian amateur will win the Marlene Streit Award
- The first round saw 33 sub-par scores (31 birdies and two eagles) at No. 17, which amounts to $165,000 raised for the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital via the CP Birdies for Heart program, which donates $5,000 per sub-par score
- Nine countries are represented in the top 12 – Thailand, Colombia, Japan, Denmark, the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the Republic of Korea