Matthew makes slow start as Stanford leads in Asia
CATRIONA Matthew said her game was a “little bit rusty” as the former Women’s British Open champion trailed leader Angela Stanford by eight shots after the opening round of the HSBC Women’s Championship in Singapore.
Eighth a year ago in the event widely regarded as the Asian women’s major, Matthew opened with a two-over-par 74 to sit in a tie for 47th at the end of the first day at Tanah Merah Country Club.
“[My game] is a little bit rusty and I made a couple of bogeys due to being a little scrappy today,” said the North Berwick player.
“I had a lot of chances on the last six holes but couldn’t hole any putts.”
By contrast, Stanford, the world No 17, holed her fair share as she fired an opening 66 to take a two-shot lead.
The American had six birdies, including two in the first two holes, to finish the day clear of a group of five players, including South Korean quartet Kim In-kyung, Ryu So-yeon, Choi Na-yeon and Amy Yang and Japan’s Momoko Ueda.
Seven more players were in a tie for seventh a shot further back, with world No 1 Yani Tseng opening her title bid with a 71.
Spain’s Azahara Munoz was the highest-placed European on two-under, while England’s Laura Davies was the best placed of the British challengers after a level-par 72.
“It was a disappointing finish because I had about a six-foot birdie putt on eight and then three-putted nine having hit it in two,” said former world No 1 Davies.
“So I probably should have shot two-under really. Bit I hit it good and, six behind at the moment, that’s not too bad.”
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