New Zealander Lynnette Brooky, 43, certainly knows what it takes to win the Final Qualifying 18-hole competition at the start of the Ricoh British Women’s Open championship.
She did it last year – and she did it again today at Panmure Golf Club, just along the road from the Carnoustie Championship links which will stage the Major event, teeing off on Thursday.
Brooky, winner four times on the Ladies European Tour, actually shared the Panmure honours on three-under-par 68 with 23-year-old Kym Larratt, in her second year as a professional, from Kibworth Golf Club, Leicestershire.
Brooky started off with six solid pars before birdieing the seventh on her way to a one-under-par outward haf of 34. She actually birdied three out of four holes straddling the turn, adding birdies at the long 10th and short 11th to her 3 at the seventh.
The Kiwi’s only bogey came at the 16th but she cancelled that out with a fourth birdie of the day, a 3 at the 16th in an inward 34.
“Team Larratt” had set the clubhouse target of three-under-par 68 much earlier on a flat calm day as the field chased 18 places and four reserve spots in the Ricoh Women’s British Open championship.
Second-year Ladies European Tour pro Kym Larratt and her dad-caddie Bob, a Senior Tour professional, combined their expertise to produce the first sub-70 round at the testing Angus venue with some testing rough for errant drives.
“This is the fourth time I’ve tried to get through to the Ricoh Women’s British Open – twice as an amateur and twice as a pro – and I’m so excited that it’s just about certain that a 68 will get me there at last,” said Kym who has made seven out of eight cuts on the LET this season.
“Dad’s actually got a sore back and shoulder but he says the straps on the golf bag hold his back in a good posture. He caddies for me regularly and it’s a big help. He led the qualifiers at Hillside for the 1983 men’s Open at Royal Birkdale so I think that has helped to inspire me as well.
“I’ve been along to Carnoustie and the atmosphere there is terrific already. You can feel the buzz about the place. I can hardly wait to tee it up alongside the biggest names in ladies’ pro golf.”
Kym says she has gradually developed a degree of consistency and straight driving – which she will need at Carnoustie’s championship links – has helped a lot.
Larratt got herself going at Panmure by downing a 30ft putt for a birdie 2 at the second. A three wood, a nine-iron and a 3ft putt added up to birdie No 2 at the eighth and she moved to three under par for the day with a great pitch from 30yd at the 10th.
“The ball actually hit the stick and fortunately stopped within a foot or two of the flag,” said Kym. “My only bogey came at the 15th where I missed an 18in putt to save par but I soon got over that with a 52 degree wedge to within 3ft of the pin at the 16th for the last of my four birdies.”
Despite the lack of wind – home course pro Andrew Crerar said: “They’ll never have it easier than this at Panmure” – only seven players broke 70.
On the 69 mark in joint third place were Jessica Korda from America, South Korea’s Jenny Shin, Dewi-Claire Schreefel (Netherlands), Veronica Zorzi (Italy) and England’s Nikki Foster from Pleasington, Blackburn.
Charley Hull (Woburn), 15-year-old Junior Vagliano Trophy player, was heading for a 70 until she ran up a quadruple bogey 7 at the 17th and finished on 73.
Former British women’s amateur champion Kelly Tidy (Royal Birkdale) birdied the first four holes but finished with a one-over-par 72 – one shot too many.
Welsh player Sahra Hassan, who led the field at the first qualifying competition at The Berkshire, failed to repeat that kind of form and had a 79.
Eight players on the par-71 mark played off for the last five places among the 18 who will advance to Carnoustie. They were: Beth Allen (US), Isabella Ramsay (Sweden), Stephanie Meadow (Northern Ireland), who finished runner-up on Saturday in the European women’s amateur championship in the Netherlands, Louise Larssson (Sweden), Samantha Richards (unattached), Kylie Walker (Scotland), Jaclyn Sweeney (US) and Rebecca Codd (Ireland).
Allen, Meadow, Walker and Sweeney graduated to the main event with birdie 2s at the second play-off hole. The fifth place was won by Ireland’s Rebecca Codd.
There were eight players on the 72 mark but only seven turned up for the play-off to decide the fourth and last of the alternate spots. French Vagliano Trophy player Manon Gidali did not show up for the evening action. Canada’s Samantha Richdale, Sweden’s Louise Larsson and Sweden’s Isabella Ramsay (in order) filled the first three alternate spots
Denmark’s Lisa Sorensen carded a one over par 72 and then survived an eight-woman play-off to claim the fourth and last alternate spot for the Championship.
For a full list of scores from Final Qualifying please go to www.ricohwomensbritishopen.com.