Hen­der­son, Ewa Shad­off tie for lead at NZ Open

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Sport -

CANA­DIAN Brooke Hen­der­son and Jodi Ewart Shad­off of Eng­land shot 7-un­der 65 yes­ter­day to share the lead in the New Zealand Women’s Open, leav­ing home star Ly­dia Ko five strokes back after the first round.

The play­ing part­ners led by one stroke over Amy Boulden of Wales and Be­len Mozo of Spain, with Amer­i­can Brit­tany Lin­ci­come, Beatriz Re­cari of Spain and South Korea’s Na Yeon Choi an­other stroke back after 67s.

The New Zealand Open is on the LPGA Tour for the first time this year.

Hen­der­son and Ewart Shad­off took ad­van­tage of eas­ier morn­ing con­di­tions be­fore the winds picked up on the newly-es­tab­lished Win­dross Farm course east of Auck­land.

“Go­ing out there I knew I had to take ad­van­tage of the good con­di­tions,” Ewart Shad­off said. “I putted well to­day. I think the greens are great ... they are run­ning re­ally true.”

The York­shire-born golfer has yet to win on the LPGA Tour, after join­ing in 2011, but picked up her best pay­check in early Au­gust when she shot 64 in the fi­nal round to move into sec­ond place be­hind In-kyung Kim at the Women’s Bri­tish Open.

Ewart Shad­off and Hen­der­son were joined by Den­mark’s Ni­cole Broch Larsen (72), and the trio pro­duced 17 birdies.

“I was look­ing to get on top of the leader­board early,” Hen­der­son said. “I know with the con­di­tions to­day that the scores were go­ing to be re­ally low. To shoot mi­nus 7 on a golf course that I didn’t think com­pletely suited my game is re­ally ex­cit­ing.”

Hen­der­son said she re­ceived the luck of the draw yes­ter­day.

“If the wind picks up it is go­ing to be a com­pletely dif­fer­ent golf course,” she said. “I was for­tu­nate this morn­ing that the winds were calm and the greens were hold­ing more than the last few days.”

For­mer No. 1 Ko, who drew a huge gallery, had four birdies and two bo­geys in her 70, leav­ing her in a tie for 21st.

“I hit the ball well through­out the day and gave my­self a good look at birdies, even on my back nine, but couldn’t hole them,” said Ko who has strug­gled with her put­ter this sea­son.

“I kept com­mit­ting to lines and all you can do is trust the read and put a good stroke on it.”

The South Korea-born Ko has won her home Open in three of the last four years — 2013, 2015 and 2016. How­ever, she hasn’t won an LPGA tour­na­ment in over a year. – AP

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