Thursday, 29 July 2010

Women's British Open 2010 - Thursday July 29th - Round 1

Arrived at the course at 9.00am. Weather looked threatening. A quick check on the leaderboard had Juli Inkster and Jiyai Shin leading on -1. Made my way towards the 10th tee. The 3rd group of the day - Jiyai Shin, Anna Nordqvist and Becky Brewerton had just teed off. Next up was LD, Pressel and Mika Miyazato followed by Catriona Matthew, Paula Creamer and Florentyna Parker. Last group watched there was Ai Chan, Meliisa Reid and Karrie Webb who wad just got to -3.

Wandered over to the 14th green in time to see the 2nd group of the day which included Juli Inkster and JJ. They were followed by the Shin, Nordqvist, Brewerton group. Anna made a lovely long birdie putt to get back to +2. Becky Brew just missed a birdie to stay +1. LD and her group were up next. Catriona Matthew, Paula Creamer, Ai Chan, Meliisa Reid and Karrie Webb also passed through the 14th whilst I was stood there. Have to point out that whilst stood by the 14th I had to put on my waterproof trousers, break out the waterproof cagougle, open the M2002 Commonwealth Games volunteer uniform umbrella and put on the gloves. Wather was awful.

By 11.00am it was time to make my way to the stand behind the 1st tee. Luckily the rain had abated and it was just a tad windy. I sat right at the back overlooking the steps so I didn't have to get up and down every time someone arrived/left and no heads where in the way. It filled up really quickly as the next tee time arrived as a number of good groups were about to tee off. First up was Iben Tinning, Amy Jang and Janice Moodie, who got a very good reception. Karen Stupples also got a good reception but nothing like that given to the local member and British Am Champ Kelly Tidy. Sherri Steinhauer must have felt a bit left out but she got a decent enough reception. Xtina Kim remains as popular as ever and gave the crowd a really big smile when introduced.

Sophie Gustafson was up next. Her tee shot looked good but just kept a bit left and ended in the fairway bunker. Suzann Pettersen arrived at the 1st tee looking a right numpty with one of the Nike woolly hats on top of one of her Nike baseball caps. Michelle Wie arrived and she and Suzann had an animated Nike wardrobe comparison. Michelle was obvioulsy giving Tutta a hard time about the hat situation. Much laughing and joking between the 2 of them ensued until Tutta went with the baseball cap only look.

Alfie was also sporting the numpty hat look but stuck with it. Once she, Kerr and Bam Bam had teed off, I set off into the countryside. I wandered off alongside the 9th/10th and chose to go up to the side of the 10th green where Kyeong Bae, Kristy McPherson and the Welsh amateur Amy Boulden were playing. Having watched them tee off on the 11th I negotiated my way down the 11th fairway and crossed over by the green to make my way over the 8th fairway towards the 7th hole.

The 7th hole was never a great spectator hole but with the change of direction of the tee and the way it was roped off, it is now even worse but the mega plus side is that the old 7th tee position which was previously inaccesible, is now a perfect viewpoint for the 6th hole 2nd shot onwards. Got there in time to catch up with the Stupples group. Karen's tee shot was quite a bit left and she had to lay up. She completely duffed her 3rd shot and made bogey.

Michelle Wie had hit a great tee shot long and bang in the middle of the fairway. Tutta was a long way back from her behind the RHS fairway bunker as was their Japanese playing partner. Kitada hit her 2nd left of the fairway and into the hazard. Having penalty dropped she hit into the front left greenside pot bunker and then three putted. Ouch. Whilst this was happening Michelle and Tutta were chatting in the fairway. Wie's second was long in the fringe at the back of the green despite Mrs Wie shouting "Sit, Sit, Stop, Sit" in my right ear. Tutta's 2nd ended up just short and left of the green avoiding the bunker and her lovely chip left her a short birdie putt which she made. Wie's chip from the back was weak leaving a 15ft birdie putt and she made just par.

Cristie Kerr had hit her tee shot on 6 quite a way back and had to lay up whilst Kitada was sorting herself out. It wasn't a great layup ending up on the RHS bank. At this point a bacon roll and a cup of tea were calling. I mossied over to the 7th to see Wie miss her birdie putt there and Tutta missing her par after hitting into a greenside bunker. Made my way back over the 8th and 11th fairways and up to 10th green, then over to the crossing point on the 13th fairway close to the green where Pernilla Lindberg's mum was not so happy with life. Daughter was +11 after 12.

Trogged up the hill and down again by the 13th green/14th tee and rested up with bacon roll and tea for 30 mins. Headed back to the 14th green to watch the main groups go through. Mr Yang stood by us to watch where Amy's tee shot landed, her being in the lead at the time. Karen Stupple and Kelly Tidy were deep in conversation as they walked up to the 14th green. Sophie was obvioulsy hedging her bets having her rain jacket draped over her shoulders.

The flag was in a really difficult sport over to the right front of the green behind one of the front greenside bunkers. Most players seemed to have decided to play safe, hit the middle of the green, two putt and move on. Wie, Pettersen and Kitada did just that. Bam Bam and Alfie were chatting on their way up to the 14th, Alfie still sporting the silly headgear. Having eatched that group play 14 I headed to the refreshment area for a beer and to watch a bit of the TV coverage before heading for home.

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