Karrie Webb was busy but the English Jodi Ewart Shadoff and the Taiwanese Wei-Ling Hsu had the last word today in The Grange, when the Australian Open of the ISPS Handa Women started with some low scores on a nice day in Adelaide.
It was as if there were two tournaments in one on the western track today; the morning field made birds on command with not a gust of wind to harass them, then most of the afternoon fought players including world number 1 Ariya Jutanugarn, a fluffy breeze and largely lost.
The exception to this rule was Hsu, the 24-year-old Taiwanese player who is a rising star of the game and ranked in the top 70 players in the world. Late in the afternoon she cared for a bogey-free 65 to equal Ewart Shadoff's hawk from the morning, and they are asleep in the $ US1.3 million tournament.
Five-time Open winner Webb is third, two shots back at five-under with Madelene Sagstrom and Englishman Bronte Law, while Perth's Hannah Green in the next group was at four-under next to the likes of last year's winner Jin-Young Ko .
Ewart Shadoff, the world number 59 who lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, will hardly be surprised. She finished last week in the top 10 of the ISPS Handa Vic Open, has twice represented Europe in the Solheim Cup and finished second in the Women & # 39; s British Open in 2017 and fourth in the US Women & # 39; s Open 2013 .
But the 31-year-old, coached by David Leadbetter, will have an obstacle to jump the next three days if she remains in the clinch. In almost a decade of trying at both LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour level, she has achieved no victory.
These are matters that must be decided.
Today she was sensational, she made birdie at the first and the fourth and then hit it close to four consecutive holes from the seventh to tenth place for four birdies on the bounce and jumped the lead. Another little bird on the par-5 13th, a long-distance bomb, took her to the seven-ruin and she mated from there, at one point a big, clambering par-salvation of the left fall on the 14th
She only had 24 putts for the day, a nice recipe for a low score.
"I'm really very good," she said later. "I feel really confident with my ball attack, and after last week I just wanted to work a bit on my putting and I feel much better and much more confident today, so it's good to go on the weekend." # 39;
The Grange is in no way unknown to Ewart Shadoff. She was equal to 20 when the Open was played here in 2016 and already in 2008 she played here in a World Amateur Teams Championship for England. "I really like this course," she said.
The Taiwanese player Hsu is a professional LPGA who had her best year on the biggest tour last year, earned $ 630,000 and ended 31st on the money list, including a top five in the US Women's Open. She was almost flawless and played in the somewhat more difficult conditions in the afternoon, making seven birdies.
World number 1 Ariya Jutanugarn started badly with a 76, while Australians top-ranked player Minjee Lee started with a one-under par 71.
But perhaps the highlight of the day was the performance of the 44-year-old Webb, who jumped from the fences with four birdies on her front nine, starting from the 10th, and another lip-out on the sixth hole. Webb plays its 23rd Open and does it as a part-timer, after having moved away from the constant journey in 2018. This week she said that in 2017 she reached a point where she did not feel like golf. By going back for a while, playing only eight tournaments and spending more time in Australia, she found some peace (and she attended four of her six cousins and nieces & birthdays). It is a new Karrie Webb, but a very good one on the job, for safety.
Last week on the 13th beach she turned the clock back with a Friday 65, before she faded into the wild weather. This week she looks confident and relaxed and heaven forbid, dangerous in this tournament.
The other Australian who was worth it was Green, the 22-year-old from Mt Lawley in Perth, whose 68 came in the afternoon breeze. Green said she had this event as a major & # 39; has dealt with. Third, she did herself proudly last year.