TURNBERRY, Scotland (AP) — Golf reclaimed center stage from Donald Trump at the Women’s British Open as Suzann Pettersen tamed tough early conditions to set a challenging clubhouse target midway through the second round on Friday.
Pettersen was the only player among the early starters to break 70, with the Norwegian taming a stiff breeze off the western Scottish coast to shoot a 3-under 69.
That moved her into a tie for the lead on 7-under par alongside Hyo-Joo Kim, who started her round just as Pettersen finished hers. With rain and stronger winds forecast for the afternoon, Pettersen was very well placed, and delighted with one of her very best rounds.
”I was in 100 percent control of the ball, the flight, the spin, everything you need to do in conditions like this,” the sixth-ranked Pettersen said. ”It felt like I was pulling off every shot I was standing over.”
If Thursday was about Trump, his grand arrival in a private helicopter and his campaigning for the U.S. presidency during play, Friday was all about Pettersen. Only one other player, 2010 champion Yani Tseng (1-under 71), broke par in the first 16 groups to finish. Two players scored 10s on a single hole.
Pettersen is oozing confidence right now, even in conditions she described as a ”beast.” A switch of coach at the start of the year, from David Leadbetter to Butch Harmon, has led to a minor change in her swing and major change in her mentality.
”I always thought playing through the Olympics would be a good goal for me,” said Pettersen, a double major winner. ”But now, feeling and seeing what I can do differently and how easy I can do stuff, it definitely has changed my perspective of my own career.
”I have a lot of goals left out there that I want to achieve.”
She hit an 8-iron to three inches on No. 2 for the first of four birdies in her round, and emerged from holes 12-18 – playing into the wind – 1 under par.
Top-ranked Inbee Park shot a 73, leaving her five shots back, and still unhappy with her game in what she says is a midseason lull. Park is looking to complete a sweep of the majors here.
Seven-time major winner Julie Inkster (80) was one of nine players in the first 16 groups to shoot 80 or higher. Beatriz Recari, a multiple winner on the LPGA Tour, had an eagle but still shot an 83 that included a 10 and three double-bogeys.