South African Ashleigh Buhai shot a 7-under-par 65 round today to lead the AIG Women’s British Open at Woburn Golf Club by one shot from Japan’s Hinako Shibuno and Danielle Kang from the USA.
Buhai appreciated today’s perfect golfing conditions on the Marquess Course, compared with the brutal wind that was blowing during yesterday’s practice round.
“The course was everything you wanted, soft greens, little wind, and you could throw it at the pin,” said the 30-year-old from Johannesburg.
England’s Charley Hull and Woburn member was one of the early starters and posted a solid, bogey-free 5-under-par 67. An early birdie on the par-5 2nd hole was followed by three consecutive birdies on 10, 11 and 12, but her most satisfying came on the par-4 18th when she sank an 18-foot putt in front of a delighted home crowd.
“The last hole is actually playing quite tricky. I hit a 5-iron into the green and last time I played here in the British Open it was a 9-iron, so that shows how they’ve lengthened the course this year which is good.”
Dealing with the pressure of competing in a major is one thing, but having the added pressure of playing on your home course is another, but 23-year-old Hull is feeling comfortable with her game.
“I feel like I’ve been playing well all year, I’ve just struggled to trust myself sometimes, so that’s where I suppose I haven’t been scoring. But today I just went out there and trusted myself, I feel like I’m in a good mindset.”
Defending champion Georgia Hall made a steady start, posting a 3-under-par 69, and fellow Englishwoman Bronte Law is amongst a large group of players one shot further back.
Hall was thrilled by the reaction of the crowd and the applause she received as she teed up for the final women’s major of the year.
“It’s incredible and it’s already the highlight of my year. I’ve had this much support since this time last year, and I think that most of the people out there were here today to support me. It’s just an amazing feeling.”
Images: Getty Images
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