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Jasmine’s eagle sparks momentum at Royal Troon

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Two-time LPGA champion Jasmine Suwannapura fired a brilliant eagle on the sixth hole to trail leader Dani Holmqvist of Sweden by two strokes after round two of the at the AIG Women’s Open on Friday.

                    

Jasmine or Thidapa hit a 72 for a two-day total of one over-par-143 which saw her as the best Thai in the tournament with Ariya Jutanugarn (147) and Moriya Jutanugarn (150) all making it to the weekend rounds.

“A lot of things happened today,” said  Jasmine.  One double, three bogeys, two birdies and an eagle on No. 6, the hardest hole of the tournament, kept Jasmine n contention and two shots out of the lead at +1 overall. Though a rollercoaster of a round, the eagle was definitely a highlight of the Thailand native’s round.

 “I had a really lucky on the par 5, it's like 142 yards and then hit 5-iron and one bounce and go in for eagle. I'm like, I don't know, I didn't see the ball but people say it's in the hole. Yeah, so a lot of up-and-downs and you have to be really patient,” said Jasmine , who on Thursday made double bogey on the same hole.

Jasmine said she’s been confident in her game as of late. She’s made the cut in each start since the Tour’s resumption in Toledo, Ohio, and most tied for 51st at last week’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open. This is only her second appearance in the major championship, finishing in a tie for 57th last year at Woburn, but she knows what to improve on to conquer what Royal Troon has to offer this weekend.

“I just know that I can play this course. To be honest, if you know your game, you will do pretty good here because I think I know my game enough to like hit this kind of shot and expect it to be here, there, but again, you never know what's going to happen,” Jasmine. “I had a lot of three-putts yesterday, three-putts on three holes and today, two holes. That showed that I can hit the green, but just have three-putts. So if I could stop making three-putts, it might be better.”

 

DANI HOLMQVIST LEADS MIDWAY THROUGH AIG WOMEN’S OPEN

 

With a brilliant 1-under 70 that belied the day’s difficult weather conditions, Sweden’s Dani Holmqvist vaulted up the leaderboard and holds the lead at -1 heading into the weekend at the AIG Women’s Open. Holmqvist has a one-stroke advantage over American Austin Ernst, who matched Holmqvist’s second-round 70, and Germany’s Sophia Popov.

 

 As rain and wind swept across Royal Troon, Holmqvist carded four birdies and three bogeys on Friday to hold the lead for the first time in her LPGA Tour career. After missing much of the 2019 season due to a back injury, the extra rehab time delivered by the coronavirus-related stoppage of play worked to Holmqvist’s advantage.

“Obviously, I think we are all itching to get back out there playing. Especially in front of all the fans, too, which is unfortunate that we can't right now,” said Holmqvist, who has never finished better than 28th at a major championship. “But you know, for me, it was good personally just with the injury just to give me some time off, not to travel so much, and just be home and doing rehab a little bit more and just getting stronger so I can be out here to perform again.”

 

Ernst had four birdies and three bogeys on Friday to move into major contention, while Popov birdied 18 to cap a round of 1-over 72. Like Holmqvist, both players are looking for their first major victory.

Five players are tied for third at +1 – two-time major champion Lydia Ko; LPGA Tour winners Minjee Lee and Jasmine Suwannapura; Emily Kristine Pedersen, who was in a playoff at last week’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open; and Lindsey Weaver.

First-round leader Amy Olson had a disastrous day on Friday, following her first-round 4-under 67 with a 10-over 81 that included six bogeys and two double bogeys. She dropped to +6 overall and is tied for 33rd.

 

The cut came at +9, tied with 2009 at Royal Lytham and St Annes for the highest cut in AIG Women’s Open major history, with 73 players advancing to the weekend. Notable players to miss the cut include Rolex Rankings No. 7 Brooke Henderson (+10), 2013 AIG Women’s Open champion Stacy Lewis (+11) and defending champion Hinako Shibuno (+12). Shibuno became the fourth winner since the AIG Women’s Open became a major in 2001 to miss the cut.

 

AUSTIN ERNST AIMING FOR WIN NO. 2

Ten days from today is the sixth anniversary of Austin Ernst’s only LPGA Tour victory, a playoff win at the 2014 Cambia Portland Classic. If the South Carolina native has her way, she’ll celebrate that anniversary by adding a second win to her tally. Ernst shot a second-round 1-under 70 on Friday and sits in solo second at Even heading into the weekend of the AIG Women’s Open.

“I figured a few things out the last few weeks. I've been a little rusty with the start, but it's been really close to being really good,” said Ernst, who had four birdies and three bogeys on Friday. “I feel like last week helped me playing in a little bit of wind, playing links golf and figured out a few things kind of that I needed to work on and I took that the beginning of this week and I felt like at the start of this week my game was definitely trending in the right direction.”

Since that win in 2014, Ernst has been searching for the next step in her LPGA Tour career. She made her Solheim Cup debut for USA in 2017 but has not notched a top-10 finish since a tie for 10th at the 2019 Honda LPGA Thailand. She has never finished better than 56th in her seven previous AIG Women’s Open appearances.

 

REJUVENATED DANI HOLMQVIST LEADS AIG WOMEN'S OPEN

 

In a year where the only things missing so far are locusts and a frog plague, the mantra for 2020 has been: control what you can, accept what you can’t and adapt on the fly.

A microcosm of that philosophy has been the first two rounds of the AIG Women’s Open, where conditions at Royal Troon have included tropical-storm-strength winds mixed sporadically with a cold, north, sideways rain that hits the skin like pellets from a Gatling gun. Hanging on was the order of the first two days. And no one did that better than Sweden’s Dani Holmqvist, who enters the weekend at 1-under par after a solid round of 70. 

“I grew up playing the British Am, and also played the Helen Holm (Scottish Women’s Open Amateur Championship) at this course, only one round at this course, though, but at the property,” Holmqvist said after a four-birdie, three-bogey round that included some solid par saves in the worst of the wind. “This (setting and weather) is different, very different, but I enjoy it.”

Published : August 21, 2020