And that’s the problem at the Women’s British Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club hard by the Irish Sea and just outside the major city of Liverpool: How to get 65 players and ties through the remaining 36 holes of championship golf in just twelve hours and thirty-six minutes of good light.
Because there were so many high scores due to challenging conditions, there were too many clusters of players. For example, there were 16 players at 6-over par and 9 at 7-over.
Seeing that coming, the R&A reduced the cut to the low 50 players and ties which included 57 players at 5-over or better. Had the 6-overs been included, that would have been 73 players, far to many to reliably get both rounds in. Because the cut line was changed mid-tournament, the 6-overs will be paid in acknowledgement that they would have made the cut.
Adding to the possible congestion with a larger field, morning sunshine will yield to an 80% chance of showers through the entire afternoon and into the evening with winds of 10 to 20 mph. That should be fun. Fields play slower in the rain because of the need to protect everything from the rain: the players’ hands, players’ glasses, the clubs, the towels, the yardage books, etc.
So they will light the range in the morning so the first players can have a proper warmup and the first of them will be off at 7:00. They will play in threesomes off both the first and the tenth tees. The last group of Jiyai Shin, Inbee Park and Mika Miyazato will go off at 8:30.
Shin alone, pretty much had her way with the course on Saturday’s second round. She shot an 8-under 64 to get to 9-under for the tournament. She didn’t miss a green and only one fairway, but even that was in the first cut of the rough. This is no fluke. She’s come in on a roll having finished T3 in the Canadian Open and just won a nine-hole playoff with Paula Creamer at Kingsmill in Virginia last week. Oh, and she won the 2008 Women’s British Open.
I have great memories. So when I played in Canada and Kingsmill and here, I’m just happy. I’m really very confident and comfortable here, even this tournament, very special for me, because I won the 2008 Open and it changed, huge, my life.
When I won in 2008, I was not a member of the LPGA, so after that, I got a Tour card on the LPGA, that was the biggest thing. And also, normally before — in 2008, my main goal was KLPGA, and normally I’m watching the LPGA on the TV.
So I’m all the time dreaming about this Tour, and I really respect, and then it’s just like some of the top players, really great, like different level above my game.
But after that win, it’s just like, oh, wow, I can make this, too. So I get a lot of confidence and I finally get the Tour card on the LPGA. I think both has changed my life, yeah.
Having come back from a hand injury earlier in the year, after Saturday’s performance, she has done nothing to dispel my assertion that she is the LPGA’s version of Iron Byron, the mechanical swing robot that the USGA and golf companies use to test equipment. So Sunday will be worth watching just to see her impeccable work, rain permitting.
Inbee Park is probably best known for having won the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open. Her second win came just this year at the Evian Masters in France and she followed that up by going T3, T2 and 2 in her next three tournaments, the last one being the Canadian. She’s good and she’s on a hot run right now. She does, however, need to find a way to make up the five strokes that she’s behind Shin.
I’ve been playing the front nine really hard because my ball is a little bit right-to-left shape and the wind is coming right-to-left, so I just have to watch the front nine a little bit more the next two days. The back nine I’ve been playing great and I’ve been having a lot of birdies on the back nine, so feeling really confident with the back nine.
It’s going to be a lot of patience tomorrow and got to sleep well tonight, and hopefully good conditions tomorrow.
Mika Miyazato comes into the Open on a bit of a run herself with her first win at the Safeway Classic and 6 other top 10s on the year. She’s a stroke behind Inbee and with the way Shin is playing, neither probably has a chance. Nor does veteran Karrie Webb who’s tied with Miyazato in third.
But that, of course, is why they play the games. Every once in a while…
And I promise you that all of them are thinking that way. A lot can happen in 36 non-stop holes. They’re not even going to stop to re-pair, so it will be a day-long, relentless swirl.