Former world number one Jiyai Shin of South Korea produced eight birdies in an opening round of seven-under-par 65 to claim a two-shot lead in the ActewAGL Canberra Classic.
Former world number one Jiyai Shin of South Korea produced eight birdies in an opening round of seven-under-par 65 to claim a two-shot lead in the ActewAGL Canberra Classic at Royal Canberra Golf Club in the Australian capital on Friday.
Although she started the round in slight drizzle, Shin shone from her first hole, sinking a birdie putt from eight feet on the par-4 10th just after a trio of kangaroos had bounded across the fairway.
Then, after making a masterful up and down from the back of the 11th green, she birdied the par-4 12th, followed by two-putt birdies on the long 15th and 18th for a back-nine total of four-under-par.
As the temperatures warmed up to 33C, so did Shin’s golf. She birdied the first, second, fifth and sixth holes to reach eight-under-par, before dropping a shot at the par-3 seventh, after she uncharacteristically thinned her chip shot.
Shin won the 2013 Women’s Australian Open at Royal Canberra and she added: “I have great memories at this golf course and I think that Canberra has been very nice to me. I want to stay here! It changed a lot since I last came here five years ago. It’s quite a narrow course and a few holes are quite tight, but it makes you more focused and I like the challenge.”
A late surge kept last week’s Oates Vic Open champion Minjee Lee of Australia (above) in touch and she lies in joint second alongside Leticia Ras-Anderica of Germany and Norwegian rookie Karoline Lund on five-under-par 67.
Dame Laura Davies had been two ahead after playing the back nine in six-under-par 30 and she made a seventh birdie on the second hole, but then bogeyed the fifth and double-bogeyed the par-3 eighth to slip back into an eight-way share of fifth on four-under-par.
European number one Georgia Hall opened with a three-under-par 69 and watched Jiyai’s putting masterclass at close quarters. Hall said: “She simply did nothing wrong the whole time. It has made me think I need to practise my putting, as I thought I was a good putter.”
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