New Zealand Women’s Amateur Champion Rose Zheng of Pakuranga is in the hunt after day one of the McKayson New Zealand Women’s Open at Ardmore yesterday.
Zheng finished the opening day yesterday at Windross Farm Golf Course on 71, a shot behind fellow Kiwi and former world number one Lydia Ko who shot a 2 under par 70.
Seven Major winners including current PGA Champion Danielle Kang and former world number one Yani Tseng are among the field for the first LPGA event in New Zealand.
An unexpected birdie blitz brought a double bonus for England’s Jodi Ewart-Shadoff on the opening round yesterday.
The 29-year-old shares the first round lead with young Canadian star Brooke Henderson on seven-under par 65 in the first LPGA Tour event in New Zealand, with the pair snaring 15 birdies between them at the new Windross Farm course south of the city.
Ewart-Shadoff announced pre-tournament that she and her sponsor would donate US$200 for every birdie she makes in October going to breast cancer research with the charity US$1400 richer after her seven birdies today.
Henderson and Shadoff have a one-shot lead over Spain’s Belen Mozo and Wales’ Amy Boulden, who fired the best round in the afternoon when the winds blew, with six birdies in a bogey-free 66.
Three players share fifth place on five-under 67 comprising Brittany Lincicome (USA), Beatriz Recari (Spain) and major winner Na Yeon Choi (Korea).
The top-10 is rounded out with three players sharing eighth on four-under 68 in Mariajo Uribe (Colombia), Perrine Delacour (France) and Madelene Sagstrom (Sweden) while former world number one Yani Tseng (Taiwan) is among nine players to share 11th place.
In all, 49 players bettered the par 72 at Windross Farm, including tournament host Lydia Ko who had little fortune on the greens in her two-under par 72.
Yesterday morning fireworks came from Henderson and Ewart-Shadoff playing in the same group and taking advantage of the still conditions, with Henderson making eight birdies and one dropped shot and the Englishwoman firing seven birdies.
“It was a great start for me and exactly what I was looking for to get on top of the leaderboard early,” said Henderson. “I know with the conditions today (Thursday) that the scores were going to be really low. Hopefully I can continue the trend in the next days.
“To shoot minus seven on a golf course that didn’t think completely suited my game is really exciting.”
Ewart-Shadoff got the putter running hot which surprised the 29-year-old.
“I didn’t expect to play as well as I did. My last tournament I missed the cut at the Evian. My confidence wasn’t too high coming in this week,” she said.
The key was on the greens, where she converted on the ideal morning conditions.
“I putted well today. I think the greens are great. They are running really true. This course is outstanding considering it is only 18 months old.”
The pair were impressed with the large galleries out early not just to support Ko but also the other players.
“I was pleasantly surprised at how many people were out here today. I didn’t expect this many people. Around our group and Lydia’s group it was very comparable to a weekend in a domestic event in the US which was very nice to see.”
Mozo fired her best round in three years with the 28-year-old making four birdies in her first nine holes and two more without blemish coming home.
“To be honest, I played one of the most perfect golf days. I don’t remember a bad shot at all. True, I made lots of putts. I love New Zealand, so that always helps just to bring good vibes into the week.”
Boulden, who has not played in a tournament since July, was at home in the wind on a links-styled course today, managing six birdies without a dropped shot as the afternoon winds blew.
“When I got the invite I spoke to my caddy who is from here. He said the course had a links feel and the wind gets up and I play at a links course at home,” said Boulden.
“I am first out tomorrow and I am looking forward to getting off to a fast start and just try to post something under par really. I am not looking at too much on numbers just play my own game and make some putts.”
The leading amateurs are New Zealand Golf High Performance Academy player Amelia Garvey and New Zealand-based Korean Ayean Cho who both shot a two-under par 70, one shot ahead of New Zealand amateur champion Rose Zheng.
The second round is underway today with the leading 70 players plus ties to compete for the NZ$1.85 million prize purse over the final 36 holes at the weekend.
- Single day passes are available at $39 for Thursday and Friday and $49 per day for Saturday and Sunday – both plus booking fee. All children 16 years and under are free when accompanied by a paying adult.
Day One Scores – McKayson New Zealand Open
Scores after round 1 of the McKayson New Zealand Women’s Open being played at
the par 72, 6416 Yards Windross Farm Golf Course (a- denotes amateur):
65: Brooke M. Henderson (CAN), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (ENG).
66: Belen Mozo (ESP), Amy Boulden (WAL).
67: Brittany Lincicome (USA), Beatriz Recari (ESP), Na Yeon Choi (KOR).
68: Mariajo Uribe (COL), Perrine Delacour (FRA), Madelene Sagstrom (SWE).
69: Brooke Pancake (USA), Su Oh (AUS), Pernilla Lindberg (SWE), Nontaya Srisawang (THA), Madeleine L Sheils (USA), Pavarisa Yoktuan (THA), Hee Young Park (KOR), Yani Tseng (TPE), Sun Young Yoo (KOR).
70: Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras (THA), Brianna Do (USA), A-Yean Cho (am, KOR), Therese O’Hara (DEN), Laura Gonzalez Escallon (BEL), Thidapa Suwannapura (THA), Lydia Ko (NZL), Gaby Lopez (MEX), Min Seo Kwak (KOR), Paula Reto (RSA), Emily Tubert (USA), Maude-Aimee Leblanc (CAN), Jing Yan (CHN), Amelia Garvey (am, NZL).
71: Mina Harigae (USA), Rose Zheng (am, NZL), Dana Finkelstein (USA), Sandra Changkija (USA), Mel Reid (ENG), Tiffany Joh (USA), Christina Kim (USA), Mohan Du (am, CHN), Amelia Lewis (USA), Rachel Rohanna (USA), Ally McDonald (USA), Laura Eum (KOR), Danielle Kang (USA), Katherine Kirk (AUS), Jackie Stoelting (USA), Becky Morgan (WAL).
72: Katherine Perry (USA), Holly Clyburn (ENG), Nicole Broch Larsen (DEN), Ryann O’Toole (USA), Alena Sharp (CAN), Hanee Song (NZL), Sarah Kemp (AUS), Gemma Clews (ENG), Youngin Chun (am, KOR), Eun Jeong Seong (am, KOR), Peiyun Chien (TPE), Jennifer Song (USA), Megan Khang (USA), Lee Lopez (USA), Bronte Law (ENG), Prima Thammaraks (THA), Ilhee Lee (KOR), Annie Park (USA).
73: Stacey Peters (AUS), Dottie Ardina (PHI), Celine Herbin (FRA), Wenyung Keh (am, NZL), Kris Tamulis (USA), Katie Burnett (USA), Selin Hyun (am, KOR), Vicky Hurst (USA), Cheyenne Woods (USA), Sarah Jane Smith (AUS), Wichanee Meechai (THA), Lindy Duncan (USA), Catriona Matthew (SCO).
74: Lorie Kane (CAN), Min Lee (TPE), Hyeon Ju Heo (KOR), Chantelle Cassidy (am, NZL), Haeji Kang (KOR), Aditi Ashok (IND), Giulia Molinaro (ITA), Alejandra Llaneza (MEX), Whitney Hillier (AUS), Maria Parra (ESP), Karen Chung (USA), Mariah Stackhouse (USA), Hannah Park (am, AUS), Jane Park (USA), Caroline Hedwall (SWE), Ayako Uehara (JPN), Amy Olson (USA), Juliana Hung (am, NZL).
75: Alexandra Orchard (AUS), Sadena A Parks (USA), Kelly Tan (MAS), Dani Holmqvist (SWE), Simin Feng (CHN).
76: Emily K. Pedersen (DEN), Beth Allen (USA), Brittney Dryland (am, NZL), Cathryn Bristow (NZL), Angela Stanford (USA), Sheridan Gorton (AUS), Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong (THA).
77: Tamara Johns (AUS), Xiyu Lin (CHN), Munchin Keh (NZL).
78: Demi Runas (USA), Jennifer Ha (CAN), Julianne Alvarez (am, NZL), Lauren Hibbert (AUS), Kristen Farmer (AUS), Tania Tare (NZL), Wei-Ling Hsu (TPE), Marissa M Steen (USA), Olafia Kristinsdottir (ISL), Breanna Gill (AUS), Paige Stubbs (AUS), Jessica Cowie (AUS).
80: Lynnette Brooky (NZL), Brooke M. Baker (USA).
81: Ellen Davies-Graham (AUS), Yifan Ji (am, CHN).
82: Dori Carter (USA).
83: Jenna Hunter (NZL).
88: Phillis Meti (COK).