Sunday, August 25, 2019

Trio tied at top following opening round in Scotland

Aug 09. 2019
Anne van Dam (LPGA Photo)
Anne van Dam (LPGA Photo)
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By LPGA

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On Thursday morning at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open the weather was calm and the scores were low. Anne van Dam (Netherlands), Jane Park (U.S.) and Mi Hyang Lee (Rep. of Korea) each fired season-low rounds of 8-under par 63 to tie for the first-round lead at The Renaissance Club.

With heavy rain and winds projected for Friday’s second round, 2017 Ladies Scottish Open winner Lee knew she had to take advantage of the sunny morning.

“So when I see the forecast, today is like best day and then tomorrow is worst day,” said Lee, who hit 17 of 18 greens on Thursday. “So my plan, my kind of plan was I try to make a lot of birdies as I can, and then I think I did, so I'm really happy to do it. Then I think tomorrow, hopefully we can play, but just I really look forward to play tomorrow and this weekend.”

Park birdied holes 4-7 in Scotland on Thursday, and said she wasn’t worrying about the projected forecast for Friday.

“I love playing in the winds and rain,” Park said. “It's a super challenge, obviously, but it kind of makes you dig deep and make some good putts and good pars. I think my game is really good for grinding out some pars. I'm looking forward to it, whatever tomorrow brings.”

While van Dam was pleased that she took advantage of the calm conditions on Thursday, she echoed Park’s thoughts that the impending forecast didn’t change her game plan.

“I just wanted to play one shot at a time and see if I put the ball in the fairway, where the pin was, if I can go at it, or play a bit more safe,” van Dam said.

Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn, who also played in the morning wave, fired a bogey-free 7-under par 64 to sit in solo fourth. While Caroline Hedwall, Chella Choi and Su Oh sit T5 at 6-under par.

 

VAN DAM MAKES FINAL SOLHEIM CUP PUSH

Like many at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open, 2019 LPGA rookie Anne van Dam is keen for Monday’s Solheim Cup Team Europe announcement. Van Dam entered this week ranked third on the Ladies European Tour Solheim Cup points, a ranking which includes three LET titles.

Van Dam put herself in a good position to become the second player from the Netherlands to play on a Solheim Cup team, as she is tied for the first-round lead at The Renaissance Club at 8-under par.

“We [the Netherlands] only had one player [Christel Boeljon] so far in the history that ever played in the Solheim Cup,” van Dam said. “So getting closer for Holland, it's very exciting.”

The big-hitting 23-year-old took advantage of the par-5s on Thursday, making two birdies and two eagles for a 63, her lowest-career round on the LPGA. After her round, the rookie said she has more than just the Solheim Cup on her mind this week.

“It's a big week, final week of the points. But I've got bigger things than that. For me it's important to keep playing well on the LPGA. I kind of need my points there, and I'm just looking forward to playing a solid week of golf. Whatever happens at the end of the week, I can't control that. All I can do is play as well as I can. I played really well the last two years now. It's just, yeah, all the players play well, as well, and there's points to pick up for other players, so that's out of my control. All I can control is just how I played and play well today. So pleased with that.”

 

LOW EXPECTATIONS KEY FOR JANE PARK

Walking off the 18th green after the first round of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open, Jane Park asked her caddie “What did we shoot? 3-under?” Her caddie, Derrick Redd, laughed and responded: “Try 8-under.”

Park’s first-round 63 is her best mark of the season, and afterwards she said she felt strangely good walking to the first tee after a less-than-ideal warm up.

“Well, honestly, I had a pretty crappy warm up this morning on the range. I just had a feeling, it's probably going to be a good day, because whenever I have a crappy warm-up, you honestly stop thinking about things. You stop thinking about mechanics. You just go out and hit shots. On this course, you kind of have to hit some pretty good golf shots, and thankfully, I was able to do that today.”

With high wind and storms expected in North Berwick on Friday, Park was pleased to put up a good number with near perfect conditions Thursday morning.

“I'm very happy with my start. I heard the end of the world is coming tomorrow, so I'll be sleeping in the morning and hopefully I'll wake up to some sunshine, but if not, we'll deal with that when I get there.”

 

PLAYER NOTES

Rolex Rankings No. 153 Jane Park (63)

  • Park’s first-round 63 is her lowest round of the 2019 Tour season; it is her second-lowest career round, she carded a career-best 62 in the final round of the 2008 NW Arkansas Championship
  • She hit 10 of 13 fairways and 16 of 18 greens, with 26 putts
  • Park has led/co-led three previous times following the first round, most recently at the 2017 TOTO Japan Classic where she finished T15
  • Park is in her 13th year on the LPGA; she has 13 career top-10 finishes including two runner-up finishes in 2008
  • This is Park’s 15th event of the 2019 LPGA season; she has made nine cuts with a best finish of T17 at the ISPS Handa Vic Open in February
  • Park is competing in her third Ladies Scottish Open (since it was co-sanctioned by the LPGA and LET); with a best finish of T35 in 2018
  • She is the 2004 U.S Women’s Amateur Champion

 

Rolex Rankings No. 101 Anne van Dam (63)

  • Van Dam’s first-round 63 is her lowest career-round on the LPGA Tour; her previous best was a third-round 65 at the 2019 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic
  • She hit eight of 13 fairways and 16 of 18 greens, with 28 putts
  • This is the first time van Dam has held a share of the lead following any round on the LPGA
  • Van Dam is a 2019 LPGA rookie; she finished T15 at the inaugural LPGA Q-Series to earn Priority List Category 14 status for the 2019 LPGA season
  • This is van Dam’s 17th event of the 2019 LPGA season; her career-best finish is T15 at the 2019 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic
  • Van Dam leads the LPGA in average driving distance (283.97)
  • She is a four-time winner on the LET, including a victory in March at the ActewWAGL Canberra Classic
  • She is currently third in the LET Solheim Cup points standings, looking to make her debut at Gleneagles

 

Rolex Rankings No. 38 Mi Hyang Lee (63)

  • Lee’s first-round 63 is her lowest round of the 2019 Tour season; it is her second-lowest career round, she carded a career-best 62 in the first round of the 2016 Bank of Hope Founders Cup
  • She hit 10 of 13 fairways and 17 of 18 greens, with 28 putts
  • Lee has led/co-led four previous times following the first round, most recently at the 2017 Manulife LPGA Classic where she finished T5
  • Lee is in her eighth year on the LPGA; she has two career wins at the 2017 Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open and the 2014 Mizuno Classic
  • This is Lee’s 20th event of the 2019 LPGA season; she has made 17 cuts with a runner-up finish at the ANA Inspiration

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