Australian great Karrie Webb has made a disastrous start to the Women’s British Open and is second last after the opening round.
Webb had a quadruple bogey, two double bogeys and three bogeys along with three birdies in an eight-over-par 80 on a sunbathed Turnberry to be 15 shots adrift of leader Hyo Joo Kim of South Korea in the fourth women’s major of the year.
The 40-year-old Queenslander has won the event three times, including once on this course in 2002, but that counted for little as she set herself a mighty battle just to make the cut.
Teenage countrywoman Minjee Lee fared far better and led the six-woman Australian contingent with a three-under 69 to be tied 14th.
Stacey Keating shot a 71, Rebecca Artis had 72, Su-Hyun Oh 77 and Sarah Kemp 79.
Kim produced the shot and the round of the day to lead by one stroke from New Zealand star Lydia Ko and American Cristie Kerr.
She shot a 65 to raise her hopes of adding a second major to her victory in the Evian Championship in France last September.
At Evian, the 20-year-old shot a 10-under 61 in the first round – the joint lowest round in major championship history – and she again proved to be an opening day specialist with a flawless round of five birdies and an eagle.
The eagle came at the 449 yard 14th where she hit a second shot to inside a foot.
“I almost made an albatross,” said a delighted Kim, who has won six times on the Korean LPGA Tour and wasn’t even a member of the LPGA when she won the Evian title.
New Zealand’s Ko set her alarm for 3.30am to meet her 6.40am tee time – she admitted she pushed the snooze button a few times – but was wide awake by the time she teed off.
In a fast start, she birdied four holes in a row from the second and added others at the seventh, tenth and 14th. Her only error was a bunkered tee shot and a four at the short sixth.
Ranked No.1 in the world at the start of the year, 18-year-old Ko has two more chances – this week and the Evian Championship in September – to outdo Morgan Pressel and become the youngest ever winner of a women’s major.
The American won the 2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship when she was two months short of her 19th birthday.
“I don’t think too much about records,” confessed the Kiwi who has already said she will retire from golf at the age of 30.
“But my goal is to win one major in my career.
“This was my lowest round in a major so it was a nice solid start. I tried to take advantage of the good weather and the par fives.”