11th July 2014 | Sunshine Ladies Tour
SA ladies struggle at Royal Birkdale
Lee-Anne Pace, Stacy Bregman and Ashleigh Simon will have some work to do in today’s second round of the Ricoh British Women’s Open after a tough day at the office in the opening round of the season’s third major.
Reigning Investec Cup for Ladies champion Pace carded a three-over-par 75 to tie for 43rd at Royal Birkdale and leads the South African challenge on England’s north western coast.
Bregman was heading for a big number at Course Number Two, but the reigning Zambia Ladies Open champion rallied brilliantly over the closing stretch to claim a share of 59th on four-over-par 76.
Both players finished inside the projected cut, but three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Simon will have to dig deep if she hopes make the weekend after a costly nine over 81.
Pace birdied the par-four third and par-five sixth to limit the damage of bogeys at the first, fifth and ninth holes. The eight-time Ladies European Tour champion dropped more shots at the 11th and 16th, but played the rest to par to finish at three over.
Bregman squeezed a birdie at the third to offset a run of three bogeys over the first four holes and dropped another shot at the ninth to turn in 38. Back-to-back bogeys and a double at the par-three 12th saw her drop to seven over, but Bregman knocked in an eagle putt for a three at the 15th, and shaved another shot off her total with a birdie at the par-five 18th.
Three-time Sunshine Tour winner Simon, who was forced to withdraw in the third round of last week’s ISPS Handa European Ladies Masters due to severe back spasms, definitely looked out of sorts at the prestigious Links layout. The two-time Ladies European Tour champion completed the opening loop in 40 strokes after a bogey start and a pair of double bogeys at the fifth and ninth holes.
Simon cancelled a bogey at the 10th with birdie at the next hole, but more bogeys at the 13th and 18th and a costly double at the par-five 15th saw her complete the back nine in 41 strokes
Meanwhile Japan’s Ayako Uehara set an unchallenged target of four under 68.
The three-time LPGA of Japan champion finished one stroke clear of Mo Martin from the United States and two shots ahead of Australian Sarah Kemp and Americans Mina Harigae and Morgan Pressel.
First Round Leading Scores
68 Ayako Uehara JPN
69 Mo Martin USA
70 Sarah Kemp AUS , Morgan Pressel USA , Mina Harigae USA
71 Stacy Lewis USA , So Yeon Ryu KOR , Amy Yang KOR , Holly Clyburn ENG
72 – Emma Talley USA , Jiyai Shin KOR , Inbee Park KOR , Jessica Korda USA , Amelia Lewis USA , Lydia Ko NZL , Marina Alex USA , Suzann Pettersen NOR , Ai Miyazato JPN , Azahara Munoz ESP , Julieta Granada PAR , Karrie Webb AUS , Lexi Thompson USA , Anna Nordqvist SWE
75 Lee-Anne Pace RSA
76 Stacy Bregman RSA
81 Ashleigh Simon RSA
Ricoh British Women’s Open – Catch highlights of the first round on SuperSport 5 and HD5 from 10h30 and all the second round action from Royal Birkdale live on SuperSport 7 and HD7 from 14h30.
PHOTO – Lee-Anne Pace; credit Petri Oeschger.