Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Women's British Open 2010 - Wednesday July 28th - Practice

Paula CreamerArrived at Birkdale at about 9.00am. Weather was a little better than yesterday. No need to start the day in the waterproof trousers. Set off down the ninth from the green and came across Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel playing as a two. Wandered back to the 8th and watched Becky Brewerton and Trish Johnson's group play up to the green, then wandered up to the 10th green and waited for Creamer and Pressel to arrive.

Stood right behind the 11th tee and waited for their arrival. Paula was asked for an autograph and photo, Morgan was not. She didn't seem happy to be ignored. Headed off down the 11th fairway and crossed over at the green and headed for the 7th green. Was a bit confused because they have changed the whole layout of that hole since 2005. The tee has moved through 90 degrees. They did it when the men were there in 2008. Yani Tseng was playing the hole when I arrived. As it was the practice round I hopped over the rope and got a view of the hole that will be unavailable the rest of the tournament.

Next group up at the 7th tee was Catriona Matthew, Cristie Kerr, Suzann Pettersen and the local British Amateur winner Kelly Tidy who is a member of Royal Birkdale. What a great experience for the am. Cristie Kerr and Catriona Matthew were having a great chin wag as they walked down to the green. David Leadbetter and his daughter were out walking with Tutta. Although all the tee shots had landed on the green, much bunker practice ensued. Catriona had to wait for Cristie to finish as they had both picked the same bunker to hit out of.

Wandered up the 8th fairway to see the outcome of their tee shots. Cristie Kerr hit her first tee shot way left into some nasty stuff on the bank so hit another one which was also heading left but got a nice bounce back into the fairway. She didn't quite know where the first ball ended up. Some lads had seen it land and pointed it out to her. They got no thnks for their pains. She said she'd just chip it out if it was for real and proceeded to play on with her second ball. Tutta was the shortest and in the left semirough. Took an iron onto the green but not very close. Catriona had hit a bomb of a tee shot and hit a lovely iron which left her with a nice birdie putt which she made.

Watched them tee off on number 9. They disappeared down the fairway having a good laugh at something. Waited for the group behind to tee off on 9. Pernilla Lindberg and Azahara Munoz were mugging for the camera as Pernilla's mum was taking photos. Headed off behind the ninth tee and found myself by the second green where I'd never been before. When following a particular group the 2nd green has to be viewed from a distance otherwise you can't catch them up on the 3rd. I also caught a glimpse of the 3rd tee which is well hidden up behind the second green and inaccesible for spectators.

Wandered back over to the 10th and caught up with Tutta's group. Catriona had disappeared. Obviously nine was enough for her today. Cristie Kerr pulled her approach shot way left into the bank around the green, flung her club at her bag and stalked off up the fairway. Worth her caddy followed her, at a safe distance until they spotted another game bird making its way across the fairway. They were fascinated by it until it flew away. And no, I don't know what it was except it wasn't the same as the one I saw yesterday.

Up by the 10th green Tutta, Dave Brooker and David Leadbetter were having an enormous laugh about something or other. I stood directly behind the 11th tee and managed to video Tutta's tee shot. It was a super shot right down the middle of the fairway. Kerr was up next and striped one down the middle as well. Kelly Tidy wasn't so lucky. Her first tee shot went way right. Her re-load was a lot better. Wandered off back to the 14th green area when the weather took a turn for the worse.

Almost lost my umbrella to the wind. Went to get an early bacon roll and cup of tea so I could shelter under their awning thing. Ended up sitting next to Captain Alison Nicholas. Just got settled when the heavens absolutely opened as a big squall came through. A second followed close behind so it was time to put the waterproof trousers on.

Tutta and co had reached the 14th green by the time I passed by. Both Kerr and Tutta blazed their first tee shot over the back of the green but hit nice second attempts. Both of them said goodbye to Kelly at this point as they had had enough and were heading off for lunch. Decided I had had enough for the day and headed off back home to rest up for the tournament proper.

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