Queenslander Sarah Jane Smith shot a flawless opening 4 under par round of 68 to be in a tie for 6th place after round 1 of the Ricoh Women's British Open played overnight. The 32-year-old was out of the blocks quickly with birdies at the 2nd and 3rd holes, and followed up with six straight pars to make the turn in 34. Two further birdies at 12 and 14 shot her up the leaderboard to 4 under par where she would stay finishing with 4 straight pars.
Smith is still searching for her maiden LPGA title in her 11th year on Tour, in 2015 she finished 2nd at the Kingsmill Championship, so far in 2016 she has been in solid form without seriously contending.
Karrie Webb, still recovering from the disappointment of missing out of a place in the Australian Olympic team was off to a dream start opening with 2 birdies. The 41-year-old stumbled slightly with a bogey at the par 4 4th hole, before bouncing back with birdies at 6 and 7 to make the turn in 33. The back 9 was a less eventful for the Queenslander, she bogeyed the par 3 14th before bouncing straight back with a birdie at the 15th, before finishing with 3 straight pars and a 3 under par 69.
Of the other Australians competing this week, Minjee Lee's start was solid if unspectacular, the West Australian opening with a 1 under par 72 which included two uncharacteristic bogeys on par fives. Victorian Su Oh shot a 1 over par 73 to be sitting right on the projected 36 hole cut line, while Rebecca Artis and Stacey Keating have some work to do to make the weekend shooting 75 and 78 respectively.
Korean Mirim Lee leads after an amazing round of 10 under par 62, tieing the LPGA record for the lowest round in a major championship. Thailand's Ariya Jutanagarn already has 3 wins under her belt in 2016 and could well be the player to beat this week after an opening 67 to be in second place. World number 1 Lydia Ko shot a disappointing 2 over par 74 and is 12 shots off the lead.
The 2016 Ricoh Women’s British Open will be broadcast live in Australia this evening on Fox Sports 3 from 8pm AEDST.
For live scores go to http://www.lpga.com/leaderboard
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