Aussie women cop tough draw

Whitney Hillier
Whitney Hillier returns to complete her round among the long shadows late into the Scottish evening. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

There are countless stories about being on the "wrong side" of the draw across big tournaments in Great Britain.

Throw the 2017 British Women's Open into the catalogue.

After Kingsbarns was calm and bathed in sunshine to begin the year's fourth women's major championship, the coastal St Andrews course was savaged by foul weather in the afternoon, twice forcing delays that totalled 77 minutes.

And, sadly, most of the Australians found themselves with afternoon tee times and their chances all but fluttered away on the breeze.

Only Karrie Webb and Sarah Jane Smith were out early, but neither could find their recent good form and signed for 75s.

At the same time, Michelle Wie (course record 64), I.K. Kim (65) and Lindy Duncan (66) lit up the course, with a host of big names also carding scores in red numbers turning the heat on the late starters.

Of the Australians among those, Perth's Whitney Hillier fared impressively with two birdies against one early bogey to sit T50 at one under.

And her fellow West Australian Minjee Lee was also in red numbers before two late bogeys dropped her to T73 at even par.

Katherine Kirk (+1), Su Oh (+2) and Stacey Peters (+2) all battled hard and are within touching distance of the projected cut line.

By the time, they'd finished, Wie had long since left the building.

"I’m really proud of myself how I took advantage of conditions this morning," the American said.

"I’ve been building a lot of confidence and just taking it day by day and just working towards something, been working towards playing well."

Nine birdies will tell you that's not far away.


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