ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Before she can think of four in a row, Inbee Park first has to make up an eight-shot deficit at the Women’s British Open.
Playing in the strongest wind this week, she had a pair of three-putt bogeys in a round of 1-over 73 for a 2-under 142 total that left her closer to the cut line than the lead.
Those rugged conditions Friday afternoon were no problem for Na Yeon Choi. She had a 5-under 67 – nearly nine shots lower than the field average for the afternoon – for a 10-under 134 total and had a one-shot lead over Miki Saiki of Japan. Saiki set the Old Course record for the Women’s British Open at 6-under 66 in the morning, which featured bursts of showers but little wind until late in the round.
Conditions were so demanding that when Choi was asked to give details of her six birdies, she couldn’t recall much further back than the 17th hole.
Five hours out there, this kind of weather, it’s hard to remember, she said.
It’s a round Park would like to forget, one that will make her quest even more difficult to become the first golfer to win four professional majors in one year.
But it was tough for everyone in the afternoon – except for Choi, who had a score that looked as if she were on the New Course – and Park isn’t ruling herself out.
Neither is anyone else.
The tough, gritty players can win this, Stacy Lewis said after a hard-fought 72 left her five shots behind. Anybody under par is not out of this.
Morgan Pressel took another step toward locking up a spot on the Solheim Cup team with a 70 in the morning, leaving her two shots out of the lead.
PGA: In Reno, Nev., Andres Romero birdied his last four holes to take the second-round lead in the Reno-Tahoe Open with 22 points in the modified Stableford scoring format.
The Argentine player who finished third last year had nine birdies, a bogey and a double bogey for a one-point lead over Gary Woodland.
Stuart Appleby, Rod Pampling and former University of Nevada player Charlie Wi were three points back at 19. David Toms had 17.
CHAMPIONS: In Blaine, Minn., Mark Wiebe followed his Senior British Open playoff victory with an 8-under 64 at the 3M Championship to take a one-stroke lead over Kenny Perry and Corey Pavin after the first round.
Four days after beating Bernhard Langer on the fifth extra hole in a Monday finish at Royal Birkdale, Wiebe had eight birdies in a bogey-free first round at TPC Twin Cities.
Bart Bryant, Peter Senior, Jeff Brehaut, John Riegger and Tom Pernice Jr. shot 66.