Uribe breaks course record
Not only was it Mariajo Uribe’s round of the year, her 8-under-par 64 broke the course record at Wascana Country Club.
The course hosted the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship last year where two golfers fired 65s. Uribe made five birdies on the back nine (she started on No. 10) and added three more after making the turn.
Her previous low round of the year was a 5-under-par 66 at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.
She said it was important to get off to a quick start in some very scoreable conditions.
“I just think I took advantage of the opportunity going out early with a little cold but no wind. I had nine really good birdie chances on the first nine holes,” she said. “I stayed patient and then end up with a couple birdies on the front nine, so that was good.”
Uribe went out early Thursday and held the lead all day.
Friday afternoon is set to be a windy one, so Uribe said she is going to try to stay patient. She said she was happy to have a solid score posted going into the second round.
“Sometimes when you have rounds like this and you don't take advantage of it, then the next day you're like, ‘Why didn't I just make more birdies the day before?’” she said.
“Tomorrow I'm going to just go out there and be patient. Luckily I don't have to go out and shoot a crazy round. Just play steady golf. There are still opportunities here. There are a lot of short holes that you can take advantage of.”
Uribe is tied for the lead with Ariya Jutanugarn and Nasa Hataoka, who won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship earlier this year.
Jutanugarn off to a fast start
Ariya Jutanguarn birdied her final hole of the day to match the course record set just an hour earlier by Mariajo Uribe, firing an 8-under-par 64.
Jutanugarn started her day with four-straight birdies before bogeying the par-4 16th after a three-putt. She added five more birdies on the front nine.
Jutanugarn said the key to her round was getting on a roll with her putter. The wind was down Thursday morning, which made the conditions scoreable.
“I think I'm pretty lucky to play with no wind this morning,” she explained.
Jutanugarn played in the same group as Jessica Korda (6-under) and In Gee Chun (4-under). She said she was able to feed off her playing partners’ success.
“I love my group today,” she said. “I (had) so much fun. Jess shot like 6-under, so I just tried to catch her.”
Jutanugarn has three wins on the season and leads the money list by more than $1 million. She also has a sizeable lead in the Race to the CME Globe, on top by more than 1,000 points over Minjee Lee.
As she searches for her fourth win of the year, she said Friday, with the wind forecasted to be much higher, Wascana Country Club will be a “totally different course.”
“It’s going to be harder, it’s going to be longer,” she said. “I just have to play and hope I’m going to play OK.”
One of Jutanugarn’s playing partners, Jessica Korda, shot her lowest round since mid-May, a 6-under-par 66.
“It just went back and forth, and it was fun. We had a really good group all feeding off each other,” Korda told LPGA.com.
Korda is tied for sixth with Mariah Stackhouse, Austin Ernst, Amy Yang, Lydia Ko, Minjee Lee, and Canadian Brooke Henderson.
Henderson leads Canadian contingent
It was Brooke Henderson’s best-ever opening round at the CP Women’s Open, and the fans let her know they appreciated the low scoring.
Henderson, who played in front of a crowd five-deep most of the day, shot a 6-under-par 66 to sit just two shots back of the lead. She made eight birdies on the day, after starting with a three-putt bogey, and nearly added a ninth after hitting a 315-yard drive on the par-4 18th. Her birdie putt just slid by.
“It was really solid today,” said Henderson. “I kind of got off to a little bit of a shaky start with a bogey on the first hole, but I made a ton of birdies today and that's always a really good sign. “I feel like I it hit the ball in good places and gave myself a lot have opportunities. Just fortunately my putter was really working today.”
Henderson finished tied for 12th a year ago in Ottawa, her best CP Women’s Open result, and she’s hopeful to build off that this week.
“I think it's really huge for me. I've never really played that well in the first round of CP Women's Open,” she said. “It's definitely momentum I feel like going into the next through days, and I'm just excited and looking forward to it.”
Henderson came into the week after shooting her best round of the year, a 9-under-par 63 at the Indy Women in Tech Championship. She said that momentum was huge coming into this week as well.
“I think that was huge momentum change for me to have that round on Sunday last week,” she told LPGA.com “Coming in here I knew my game was in a good spot, and I'm just happy I was able to get a solid round off the bat on Thursday.”
There are 16 Canadians in the field this week at their national open. Naomi Ko, an amateur, shot the second-lowest round by a Canadian, a 4-under-par 68. LPGA Tour regulars Maude-Aimee Leblanc and Anne-Catherine Tanguay shot 2-under. Another amateur, Celeste Dao, was also in red figures after a 1-under-par 71.
No Canadian has won the CP Women’s Open since 1973.
Yin feeling the momentum
Angel Yin came into this week coming off her third top-five result of the year at the Indy Women in Tech Championship, and she said her game is in a good place.
Yin shot a 7-under-par 65 to sit tied for fourth with Nanna Koerstz Madsen.
Madsen started her day with two straight bogeys but made seven birdies and an eagle over her last 16 holes.
Yin made one bogey on Thursday on the par-4 5th. She rattled off three straight birdies after that to get back into contention.
“Overall my game was just working well,” said Yin. “I've been playing well for the whole year and now I'm scoring.”