Australian Minjee Lee shot a 7-under-par 65 round today that included a putt around 30ft for eagle at the par-5 15th to lead the Ricoh Women’s British Open by one shot from Japan’s Mamika Higa.
Off the back of her runner-up spot at last week’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open at Gullane, Lee arrived at the links of Royal Lytham & St Annes in a confident mood.
“I knew I was hitting it well coming into this week, my putter was hot today, but the key was keeping the ball in play, missing the bunkers and then obviously hitting the greens,” said the 22-year-old from Dorset.
Hot on the heels of Lee and Higa, are five players including England’s Georgia Hall, who quickly set the tone of her bogey-free 5-under-par round by birdieing the par-3 1st hole.
In a change of events, Hall’s regular caddie, her boyfriend Robert, has been made redundant this week, but it’s still a family affair with dad Wayne on the bag.
“Robert is ‘cool’ about it”, said Hall with a chuckle. “He has known since March, as this is ‘our thing’' referring to her proud dad.
Germany’s Sandra Gal, one of the early starters who had to contend with the worst of today’s downpours on the Lancashire coast, sits on 4-under-par, along with a handful of players including former World No 1 Lydia Ko.
A shot further back is Lydia Hall from Wales and England’s Florentyna Parker who revived her 2-over-par round after striking a perfect 8-iron to the 144-yard 9th to claim her third hole-in-one.
For fellow Englishwoman Charley Hull, it was a round of two halves. After three straight bogeys on the front nine to reach the turn in 3-over-par, she followed with a bogey-free back nine and four birdies to finish 1-under.
Images: Getty Images
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