Women’s Open Golf: Gale-force Shin surges clear

After Friday’s play was wiped out by gale-force winds, South Korea’s Jiyai Shin threatened to completely blow away the opposition with an incredible eight-under-par 64 in the second round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Hoylake yesterday.

After Friday’s play was wiped out by gale-force winds, South Korea’s Jiyai Shin threatened to completely blow away the opposition with an incredible eight-under-par 64 in the second round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Hoylake yesterday.

The spectacular round that started with a chip in from 30 yards and three straight birdies left Shin on nine under, in a state of disbelief and holding a comfortable five-shot halfway lead over playing partner and fellow South Korean, Inbee Park.

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“I can’t believe I just did that,” was Shin’s immediate reaction. “My goal at the start of the Championship was to shoot one under par in every round so today was a really big surprise. But I made such a great start and then had six birdies, no bogeys and no bunkers.”

Shin won the title as a raw rookie at Sunningdale in 2008, and she continued: “This tournament is very special to me. My win in 2008 changed my life.”

The players face 36-holes today, and Shin, who won the Kingsmill Championship in America on Monday after beating Paula Creamer in a nine-hole play-off, is prepared for another marathon.

“I was tired earlier in the week but I got a good rest yesterday,” said the player who underwent a minor wrist operation and missed two months’ play in June and July. “I’ll just try and stay focussed all day.”

Park shot a 68, while Taiwan’s Yani Tseng, who won at Birkdale in 2010 and again at Carnoustie last year, repeated her opening 72 for level par.

Lydia Ko, the 15-year-old New Zealand amateur, also stayed in the hunt with a 71 for one under par. Last month, she became the youngest-ever winner of an LPGA tournament at the Canadian Open. She couldn’t possibly lift a women’s major before her 16th birthday? Or could she?

Another amateur, England’s 21-year-old Holly Clyburn, was the best of the British players on one over par following a 73.

At one point, it looked as though both Scots would miss the cut, but Catriona Matthew staged a late charge and at least has the chance to make an impact in today’s two-round finale.

The 2009 Champion at Royal Lytham and St Annes birdied the short 13th and eagled the long 16th for a 73 and five over par and made it with nothing to spare.

But Carly Booth – two 77s for ten over par – was on the wrong side of the cut mark in her first major championship. But there will be plenty more for the Comrie 20-year-old to enjoy.