Women’s Scottish Open: Hinako Shibuno leads Madelene Sagstrom by two shots after first day in Ayrshire | Golf News

Japan’s Hinako Shibuno leads the FREED GROUP Women’s Scottish Open from Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom after the first day of play in Ayrshire; watch the second round of action at Dundonald Links on Friday from 2pm on Sky Sports Golf

Last Updated: 03/08/23 9:06pm

Hinako Shibuno fired an opening round of 64 (-8) to lead by two strokes at end of the first day of the FREED GROUP Women’s Scottish Open at Dundonald Links in Ayrshire.

The Japanese star, who won the AIG Women’s Open in 2019, was bogey-free on day one at Dundonald Links rolling in eight birdies.

Shibuno, who teed off from the 10th hole, began with a birdie and then made four on the trot on holes 13 through 16. The major winner finished her round with a flourish making another three birdies in-a-row on holes six, seven and eight to sit at the top of the leaderboard on eight-under-par.

“It was really good overall,” said Shibuno. “I putted well. I like Scotland and I like playing in Scotland and the UK. I surprised myself with the four birdies in a row.

“My finger is getting better, it’s healing now. My fingers and upper body was a little tight, but my sequence is getting better. I’m just being relaxed and more thinking about the sequence, the swing.”

Sagstrom sits in outright second place on six-under-par after firing a 66 on the first day at Dundonald.

Madelene Sagstrom fired in 66 on the first day

Madelene Sagstrom fired in 66 on the first day

The 30-year-old got off to a hot start with birdies on 10, 11 and 12 before adding another on the 16th hole. There was a dropped shot on the first for the Swede, but she soon bounced back with birdies on three, seven and nine for her round of six-under.

“It started really solid with three birdies right away,” said the LPGA Tour winner. “I made some really good iron shots today. It kept the driver in play and not fantastic, but I think my iron shots kept me in it. I made some easy putts and overall, a pretty easy day.

“I think it’s taken me a few years to figure links golf out. As an amateur, I hated it. I can’t hit it low, but I started working with Shane, my caddie who is Irish, two years ago.

“We’ve really been pushing it since and been able to be much more creative on the golf course and he’s helping me see the different shots now, so it’s really improved over the years. It’s been a journey.”

Madelene Sagstrom sits in outright second place on six-under-par

Madelene Sagstrom sits in outright second place on six-under-par

Broch Estrup, Hedwall and Inglis in joint-third

Three players are in a share of third place with Nicole Broch Estrup, Caroline Hedwall and Caroline Inglis all on four-under-par. It was a bogey-free round of 68 (-4) for Hedwall, who rolled in birdies on holes two, nine, 10 and 14.

The seven-time LET winner said: “I played really solid. I was driving it really well. I hit a lot of fairways and it just felt good overall. I missed a couple of shorter birdie putts, but then I made a couple of longer par putts as well. I think it evened out, and I’m just happy with four-under today. It felt like a good start.

“It’s definitely a test for my patience, but I think I did really well today and just kept staying in the moment and just hitting good shots. My game is shaping up, and it’s nice to put a good score this first day now. It feels decent.”

Caroline Hedwall is joint third going into Friday

Caroline Hedwall is joint third going into Friday

It was also a good day for Denmark’s Broch Estrup who only had one dropped shot and five birdies on her scorecard.

“It was pretty solid and to shoot four-under on a links course, you have to get a little lucky here and there,” said the LET winner.

“I made a long putt on seven for birdie, and it just held on to the green, it could have been a tough up-and-down. But overall, it was solid out there. There were lots of fairway, lots of greens and I putted pretty well as well.

“I like it when the wind is up because it means that you have to work with the ball, and you have to be somehow a good ball-striker to get around, and I consider myself that. I like it when it gets a little tough. I feel like my golf is in a good place at the moment. Today I was really good at doing my things mentally, there’s obviously three more days, but I’m really, really proud of myself today.”

Six players end the first day in a tie for tenth place on two-under-par including France’s Agathe Sauzon and Sweden’s Linnea Strom.

However, there was an unfortunate incident during the round for Broch Estrup’s husband and caddie Kasper, who had to stop carrying the bag after 16 holes after he sprained his ankle.

She added: “Going from 16 to 17, I actually twisted my foot half first and I looked back, and Kasper was like in complete pain, and he twisted his ankle really bad. He was trying to put pressure on his foot, and just there was no chance he could. He was trying to just make it to the 17th tee box and couldn’t.

“Luckily one of the guys from the Danish golf team is here watching, and he was happy to step on the last few holes. I hit it to like three feet on 17 and then to three meters on the last.”

Watch the Women’s Scottish Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Friday from 2pm on Sky Sports Golf and stream it on NOW

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