PLAY SUSPENDED AT ABERDEEN STANDARD INVESTMENTS LADIES SCOTTISH OPEN
LPGA and LET players were treated to a rollercoaster of a day in Scotland on Friday at The Renaissance Club. The morning started with light rain, followed by pockets of heavy rain and wind gusts up to 35 mph before play had to be suspended due to unplayable conditions at 1:04 p.m. local time. Play was suspended for two hours and 21 minutes, before the sun came out in North Berwick and play resumed. The wind lightened up to 8-10 mph and players took advantage of the calmer conditions, before another cell came through and play was halted due to rain at 7:02 p.m. for 19 minutes.
With nine groups left to finish their second round, play was called due to darkness at 9:06 p.m. Second round play is set to resume at 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning. The third round will be a two-tee start from approximately 9:40 a.m. with the leaders going off last on the first hole.
The top four players on the leaderboard all played in the afternoon wave and were able to finish their second round on Friday night. Mi Jung Hur led the way with a tournament-record tying 9-under par 62. Hur set the new Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open 36-hole record at 128, thanks to a second round that included nine birdies and an eagle.
“I started with birdie, birdie, eagle,” Hur said. “I started on 10 first. On 12, I hit a chip-in and made an eagle and I was so excited for the day. But next hole, I made a bogey. Hit a fat shot with a pitching wedge from the fairway. I was frustrated with the hole but tried to keep it up and had lots of chance to make birdies. All the putts were really good today. Hit a lot of good shots. Yeah, I had a good round.”
Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn was a perfect 18 for 18 in greens in regulation on Friday evening for a bogey-free 66 to sit in solo second just two shots off the lead at 12-under par. After her round she said it was nice to see some of the things she’s been working on result in a good score.
“Actually I was just trying to be patient and I mean, I've been working on lots of things in the past,” Jutanugarn said. “It seems like everything's feeling better. Like just myself, feeling better. I don't know what's going on out there. Just like trying to keep doing what I want to do.”
First-round co-leader Anne van Dam heads into Saturday’s third-round tied for third at 10-under par with 2019 U.S. Women’s Open champion Jeongeun Lee6. Van Dam followed up a career-best 8-under par with a 2-under par score on Friday, and she admitted it can be a challenge to follow up such a low number.
“It's always hard because you know it's out there,” van Dam said. “Even today, even today, it felt like a score like that was in it. On those days where you shoot 8-under, everything feels so easy, and on a day like today, you see what a 2-under, what a difference it is on a day where it's just your day. But yeah, I think it's always important to just restart and see it as a new day and not think about, oh, I eagled this hole yesterday; I was 6-under through the turn here.”
LUCK OF THE DRAW
This week at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open, players who teed off early Thursday and late Friday definitely had the weather on their side. On the opposite side of the draw, only eight players were under par on Friday morning which saw heavy rain and winds.
Several players at the top of the leaderboard admitted they were able to take advantage of the milder conditions they faced.
Mi Jung Hur (-14): “I got a really lucky draw for this week. I had the morning yesterday and afternoon today. I know it was really tough this morning, but sometimes I need luck for those things, too. But yeah, I think the pairings helped me a lot, too.”
Moriya Jutangarn (-12): “I don't want to complain about anything because it's something you can't control, and also I think I'm pretty lucky as I'm in the afternoon today. Just want to say, no complaints. It's tough out there and I actually feel bad for the girls, everyone's playing in the morning. It was so tough. I think they hang in there and they do a good job.”
Jeongeun Lee6 (-10): “There was a lot of weather suspensions back when I used to play on the KLPGA and I'm used to that, and the weather conditions, as well. But so far, I'm pretty lucky that I was able to play in the afternoon, because this morning, like it was so windy. It was extremely, like really bad. So pretty happy with it. Pretty lucky.”
DAME LAURA DAVIES STILL HAS “IT”
With severe rain and wind Friday morning in Scotland, it was Dame Laura Davies who had the lowest round of the morning wave with a 3-under par 68. Davies hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation on Friday with two birdies and an ace for her lowest round of the 2019 season.
“It's probably the second-best round I've probably ever shot because obviously needed to have a good round to make the cut and I had a 6-under 66 in Canada years ago in similar conditions but that's as close as I can get to it. It was horrific out there, and I hope it stays exactly the same way the rest of the day,” Davies said with a cheeky smile.
Davies’ 3-under par round on Friday means she will make her first cut in 12 starts this season. The World Golf Hall of Fame Member admitted it’s been “a horrible year,” but she still feels she can compete with the best in the world.
“People say, oh, should you give up and commentate, you're a rubbish golfer now, but I still know I can hit shots and play like that. I've just got to do it and prove it, and that's the only thing. But you can only prove to yourself if you hit the good shots, and like I say, today, I don't know how many greens I hit but it was a lot of greens.”
TEAM EUROPE PROJECTIONS
Team Europe Captain Catriona Matthew will name her four picks for the 2019 Solheim Cup on Monday at The Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, the day after the completion of the final qualification event, the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club.
The European team consists of the top three from the LET Solheim Cup points list, followed by the next five from the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings and four captain’s picks.
Spain’s Carlota Ciganda, who is not playing at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open, has locked in her position as one of the qualifiers from the LET Solheim Cup points list. Caroline Hedwall and Anne van Dam currently hold the remaining two spots, but it will depend on their finish in Scotland this week with a few other players in the mix.
Georgia Hall, Charley Hull and Azahara Munoz are all confirmed to make the team based on their positions on the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. Projections show Caroline Masson, Anna Nordqvist and Celine Boutier have the best chance for the final two Rolex Rankings spots depending on their finishes in Scotland.
CME GROUP CARES CHALLENGE - SCORE 1 FOR ST. JUDE
The CME Group Cares Challenge is a season-long charitable giving program that turns aces into donations. CME Group will donate $20,000 for each hole-in-one made on the LPGA Tour in 2019, with a minimum guaranteed donation of $500,000 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
There were two hole-in-ones on Friday at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open, Dame Laura Davies aced No. 5 from 152 yards using a pitching wedge and LET player Cajsa Persson also aced the fifth hole using a 9-iron.
“5th hole, lovely wedge, never left the pin,” Davies said of her 12th career ace. “It seemed to roll for ages and just dropped in. That put me where I had a couple to play with, if I had a bad finish if it came, and it didn't.”
There have now been 20 aces recorded this season and a total of $400,000 raised thus far.
Rolex Rankings No. 79 Mi Jung Hur (66-62)
- Hur is in her 11th year on the LPGA; she has two career victories at the 2014 Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic and the 2009 Cambia Portland Classic
- This is Hur’s 15th event of the 2019 LPGA season; she has made 13 cuts with a best finish of T6 at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship
- Hur is competing in her third Ladies Scottish Open (since it was co-sanctioned by the LPGA); with a runner-up finish in 2017
Rolex Rankings No. 23 Moriya Jutanugarn (64-66)
- She hit 11 of 13 fairways and 18 of 18 greens
- Jutanugarn is in her seventh year on the LPGA; she became a Rolex First-Time Winner at the 2018 HUGEL-JTBC LA Open
- This is Jutanugarn’s 20th event of the 2019 LPGA season; she has made 19 cuts with a best finish of T3 at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational where she teamed up with sister, Ariya
- She is competing in her third Ladies Scottish Open (since it was co-sanctioned by the LPGA); with a T35 finish in 2018
Rolex Rankings No. 101 Anne van Dam (63-69)
- She hit 10 of 13 fairways and 15 of 18 greens
- Van Dam is a 2019 LPGA rookie; she finished T15 at the inaugural LPGA Q-Series to earn Priority List Category 14 status for the 2019 LPGA season
- This is van Dam’s 17th event of the 2019 LPGA season; her career-best finish is T15 at the 2019 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic
- Van Dam leads the LPGA in average driving distance (283.97)
- She is a four-time winner on the LET, including a victory in March at the ActewWAGL Canberra Classic
- She is currently third in the LET Solheim Cup points standings, looking to make her debut at Gleneagles
Rolex Rankings No. 9 Jeongeun Lee6 (67-65)
- Lee6 is a 2019 LPGA Tour rookie; she earned her Membership by taking medalist honors at the 2018 LPGA Q Series
- Lee6 became a Rolex First-Time Winner at the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open
- This is Lee6's 17th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; along with her major win she has six additional top-10 finishes
- She uses a 6 at the end of her last name as she is the sixth player named Jeongeun Lee6 in KLPGA history; her fan club in Korea is called "Lucky 6"
- Lee6 is also a member of the KLPGA Tour, where she has six career victories
- Lee6 currently leads the Rolex Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year standings with 1,065 points
- Only eight players recorded under par scores from the morning wave on Friday
- Defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn fired a 4-under 67 on Friday and sits inside the top 10
- Rolex Rankings Projections show that no player can overtake No. 1 Jin Young Ko and No. 2 Sung Hyun Park this week