Slow start for most of my faves in the field, but nothing too horrible. Haeji Kang grew up in Australia, and started with a blistering 8 under 64. Lee6 was great, producing a 68 on the tougher course. Ayean Cho also was at 4 under, but she was on the easier course. Both ladies were bogey free. Hye Jin and Hee Jeong Lim also had good days. KLPGA power!
Inbee had a nice holeout for eagle right at the start of the broadcast, but the rest of her day was far cooler; she has a little work to do to make the cut, as do Yealimi Noh and So Yeon.
Since it's a Euro PGA tour event, I assume this site will carry all four rounds.
I didn't miss the first round, but I fast forwarded through most of it. It had to be the worst broadcast ever. Most of the broadcast was focused on the men. They even interviewed a guy that shot minus two for five minutes.
Not that great a start for So Yeon. She had three early birdies but wasn't able to make anymore. The lip out on eighteen for birdie didn't help her cause. Maybe it happens to other golfers, but I don't focus on them like I do So Yeon. But So Yeon doesn't seem to get many good breaks. Putts stopping just short of the hole or lipping out. Drives that's not in the middle of the fairway finds the rough. Golfers that are close to her for a win shooting the best round of their life. I may be wrong but that's how I feel.
I didn't hear about this - a Google-mushed article says Yui Kawamoto was docked approx. ¥5,500 for slow play at Gainbridge. She'll be more organized this week with BML's ex-super looper, Shigenori Shimuzu.
American Christina Kim enjoys a laugh with caddie/boyfriend Duncan French today at 13th Beach. Photo: Paul Shire
Kim feels at home Down Under 05 Feb 2020 by Rod Morri @ 13th Beach
“I can’t promise,” says popular American Christina Kim of her chances of hoisting the trophy at this week’s ISPS Handa Vic Open at 13th Beach Golf Links on the Bellarine Peninsula. “But there’s no reason I can’t. I feel good and I feel ready.”
Kim has been a regular visitor to these shores in recent years and has made no secret of her love for both Australia and the courses which host our big events each year.
Alongside long time New Zealand boyfriend and caddie for the week Duncan French, it would be fair to say the pair look forward to this week at least as much as any on the LPGA schedule.
“I love playing golf here in Australia because it heralds back to a time when I was a youngster growing up,” Kim says ahead of Thursday’s opening round.
“I used to play around with all sorts of trajectories and spin around the greens and you can do that here much more than we see week to week in America.
“Because of the nature of the courses and the options around the greens you have the ability to use the ground so much more.
“You can use almost any club from any distance and you use your entire golf bag. There is something just remarkable about that.”
Kim has a good and growing appreciation for course architecture thanks to French and good friend and course architect Mike Clayton.
“The game is so much more interesting – at least to me – when it requires both imagination and execution,” she says.
“There is obviously great skill required to play a more aerial form of the game where you control the yardage you fly the ball and it stops where it lands.
“But the excitement of having to land the ball several paces from where you want it to end up and judging how the ground will make it move….it’s just more entertaining I think.
“In an age of 460cc drivers and balls that don’t spin, just the opportunity to use those is fantastic.”
Kim lost full playing status in 2019 after a year of what she describes as ‘golf doo-doo’ but says she has been working hard in the off season and is happy with where her game is.
A change in eating habits has seen her lose a significant amount of weight though she says it wasn’t a goal when she started on a Keto diet.
“I never went in with the thought process of ‘let me see how much weight can I lose’, it was just a happy by-product,” she said.
“For me it was just a case of ‘let’s get these shackles that sugar has put on me and get rid of them’ and I’ve done that.
“I don’t have sugar cravings anymore and even an under ripe strawberry is too sweet for my taste buds now.”
In terms of her golf Kim says she is pleased she ‘didn’t leave her golf swing in Florida’.
“It made the trip with me, which is great,” she says with a laugh. “I love these golf courses here and next week’s course at Royal Adelaide as well so I’m super keen and excited to get going,” she said.
“And with Duncan caddying for me for the two weeks – which he doesn’t do very often – I just feel like we’re both in a really good place so we’ll tee it up and see what happens.”
Kim tees off Thursday at 12.20pm on the first tee of the Creek course alongside Julieta Granada and Jennifer Chang.
Quite frankly she sounds like she is cranked up on stimulants. We are subjected to so much diet-related derangement in 2020, but "even an under-ripe strawberry is too sweet for me now" deserves special recognition IMO. I would like to follow up on that quote a couple years from now.
Unless there's a lot of horrendous golf in the next few hours, defending champ Boutier will miss the cut.
Dame Laura tripled her opening par-4 hole on Friday... ... there goes the oldest LPGA winner storyline for the GIC.
I hope someone does a deep dive and finds out why Haeji Kang's game went into the toilet a few years ago ... her LPGA profile pic shows her wearing a Hanwha cap, which was the 2013-15 timeframe. I saw her during Round One of the 2011 Sybase Match Play and you had to be pretty good to get into that event ... she's in the Archives:
While standing at the 15th fairway, I was startled by a drive that finished about ten yards away in the rough. I leaned over the rope and saw a hideous lie...the ball had settled down deep into about 4 inches of grass. Haeji Kang was the lucky player, who had 169 yards to the green. She was already down by four to Anna Nordqvist, so it was time for an attempted miracle shot with a nine-wood. She did well to plow it out of there and got some roll, too. She managed a par, but it wasn’t good enough to continue.
Some great stuff today. Lucky Six shot a solid 4 under even with a bogey on her last hole. She's five back heading into the weekend and in the top ten. And to make it even better, she gave her first English language interview!!!! How AWESOME is this:
Even better, Ayean Cho's Down Under Winter training paid some dividends. She shot a 66 today and is at the moment t-3rd three back. We might get to see her on the broadcast tomorrow! I am so pumped. GO AYEAN!!!!
And Penguin Hye Jin Choi is at 8 under, Minjee at 9 under, and it looks like Rocket might sneak onto the leaderboard, too.
I missed the first hour of the broadcast ... I'll skim the replay later for that. One of the broadcaster guys needs to do some homework on women's golf ... said Sagstrom's swing was one of the best he's seen hit the LPGA in the last few years and he mentioned Mel Reid in the same breath, WTH! I guess the New Ko and the Total Package eluded his radar. Yes, Sagstrom has played six great rounds in a row to start the year, but get a grip and lay off the Foster's. Christina Kim was already in the broadcast booth when I started watching and she wasn't bad. Dr. Noh is going to pick up some ground on Yui for ROY. Suzuka Yamaguchi will make money this week! Robyn Choi was an unknown add-on in a 2017 practice round at Bedminster with The Old Ko and Cyborg ... now she's stealing Minjee's limelight Down Under. I hope they show Pei Ying Tsai.
I don't think I saw Min Woo Lee hit his driver during his last few holes ... teed off with irons. It's a small sample but he's leading the Euro tour with a ridiculous 341.4 yard average.