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ARIYA JUTANUGARN HOLDS 36-HOLE LEAD AT TGWSO

August 13, 2021

Leaderboard Round 2

1            Ariya Jutanugarn                   (THA)   -9

2            Charley Hull                            (ENG)   -6

2            Emily Pedersen                      (DAN)   -6

2            Atthaya Thitikul                     (THA)   -6

Making the cut –

  • 10 Major Champions
  • 4 past champions
  • 18 Olympians
  • 5 of the top 20 Rolex Rankings
  • 17 past Solheim Cup players

The 2018 Champion, Ariya Jutanugarn, shot to the top of the leader board today adding a classy 66 to yesterday’s 69 placing her three clear of the field on -9.

On having new title sponsor from Thailand, Trust Golf – “Of course. I feel so thankful for like myself and for like all the LPGA, and they try to help all the golfers in Thailand so much. That means so much for us.”

On winning the Women’s Scottish Open in 2018 – “I want to say my whole life, like my dream is I want to win on a links course because I won in Woburn, played British Open, but it’s not links. I felt like one time in my life, I want to win on a links and I done it in 2018. Just bring back all the great memory I have here and you know, still lots of golf to go so we never know what going to happen.”

On winning this week – “I remember because like when I won that Scottish 2018 I feel so happy because I told my caddie, I’m like finally I can win on a links, so every time I’m here, I know it’s tough. I know it’s windy but I really enjoy every moment here because links, we just know we can shoot low and we know we can shoot high. So we just never know when it’s going to be that day that we shoot low or we shoot high. I feel like it brings back a lot of great memory here because I won on links and proud of myself and be able to tell myself that I won on the links.”

Juntanugan’s countrywoman Atthaya Thitikul is in tied second place alongside England’s Charley Hull and Denmark’s Emily Pedersen at -6 while six players it one shot further back at -5 including the current highest place Scot, Kelsey MacDonald.

Thitikul’s unique take on preparations for the weekend “I’m lucky that I’ll be here early to eat breakfast and then prepare to play on the links. And then I’m not sure that I’ll play well or not, but hopefully I will because, like I said, I’m not a big fan of links course, and it’s just time to give it all that I have.”

Hull said she was playing better by thinking less about the golf and instead, concentrating on a upcoming trip she was planning with Solheim Cup teammate Georgia Hall –  “Me and Georgia are going for a spa weekend the week we are back, going shopping in London. And I was saying to her, I’m planning what I’m going to buy. We’re just joking around. We’re just going to go to spa and then going to go shopping in all the nice places.”

Five-time winner on the Ladies European Tour and No 68 on the Rolex Rankings, Emily Pedersen commented on how life had changed for her since narrowly losing out in a play-off with Stacy Lewis at last year’s Scottish Open “Obviously a lot has happened. I think I was around 500-something in the world when I entered this event last year, and obviously I’m coming in a little bit more confident this year. But I’m happy to be where I am. I’m happy that I’ve grown from last year but I’m still trying to grow. I’m still trying to achieve a lot more than I have. But it’s all good steps in the right direction.”

Scotland’s Kelsey MacDonald is a player who isn’t hoping for calmer conditions over the weekend “I think when the elements are so tough, you have to grind, it can eliminate half the field straightaway just have to grind out. You never know what’s going to happen. I do like when it’s tougher.”

 

ARIYA JUTANUGARN HOLDS 36-HOLE LEAD AT TRUST GOLF WOMEN’S SCOTTISH OPEN

Three years after winning the 2018 Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open, Ariya Jutanugarn is -9 overall after a second-round 66 and leads once again, only this time at Dumbarnie Links. Jutanugarn, who has won twice already in 2021 at the Honda LPGA Thailand and Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational alongside playing partner and sister Moriya, holds the 36-hole lead/co-lead for the eighth time in her career.

“I felt like after I played in the afternoon yesterday, it is really windy, and I feel like today going to be better in the morning, but actually it’s not, so the wind start to blow really hard since like first hole and last three holes even worse. I feel pretty lucky I finish before everything to come,” said Jutanugarn.

The 25-year-old notched two birdies on the front nine. After a bogey on No. 10, the Thai regrouped to birdie Nos. 12, 13, 15, 16 and 17, while making every effort to stay as “chill” as possible.

“I don’t really feel like I’m really confident or I’m not confident at all. But I think like just have to go day-by-day to me,” said Jutanugarn. “When I say I still have so much thing to work on, and to me, I just want to be chilling on the course because I know when I’m chilling on the course, everything going to take care of themselves.”

Charley Hull, Emily Pedersen and Atthaya Thitikul sit three strokes back of Jutanugarn in a tie for second at 6-under. Even with four birdies and only one bogey, Hull said she still felt a lower score was possible. “Left a few shots out there on the back nine. I left a seven-, eight-foot putt an inch off the hole but was dead in line. But the greens were slower today and they didn’t double cut them,” said Hull. “Felt really good. Nice to be around home turf, even in Europe. Feels more like home.”

Six players are in a tie for fifth at -5, including U.S. Women’s Open champions Jeongeun Lee6 and Yuka Saso, along with the leading Scot player through two rounds, Kelsey MacDonald. Lee6 is making her second appearance in the TGWSO and first since 2019, when she finished in a tie for second as a Tour rookie. “In the range, I prepared just control shot. The green is a little bit slow today. So I focused on just speed, putting,” said Lee6, who started bogey-birdie-bogey, and ended the day with five more birdies to post a 68.

71 players made the cut at +2, including defending champion Stacy Lewis (+1) and first-round leader Michele Thomson (+1). Notables to miss the weekend in Fife include major champions Hannah Green (+3), Brittany Lincicome (+3) and Minjee Lee (+6). Caroline Masson withdrew during the second round.

 

EMILY PEDERSEN IN CONTENTION AGAIN IN SCOTLAND

Emily Pedersen had one of the most colorful scorecards in the second round of the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open with six bogeys, five pars, five birdies and two eagles for a second-consecutive 69 at Dumbarnie Links, where she finished the day in a tie for second at -6. The five-time Ladies European Tour winner said she was disappointed in her putting but knows exactly what to work on heading into the weekend.

“I’ve only missed I think eight greens in two days, which is quite solid. My chipping has been really good. Obviously it’s frustrating feeling so many parts of the game is good, and then lacking the putting a little bit,” said Pedersen. “But there’s two more days, and I have time to fix it. I have fixed it before for a weekend, so hopefully I can do that again.”

Pedersen felt her game pick up last week in Tokyo, where she finished fifth at the 2020 Olympics. “Bummed not to bring home a medal. I was in it all the way into the middle of the back nine, so obviously it kind of sucks when you’re close,” said Pedersen. “But again, it’s probably the best event that I had this year. I had four rounds in a row under par. This is the first time this year that I have that.”

One year to the day, Pedersen found herself in second following the first round of the Women’s Scottish Open. Entering the event, she was No. 491 in the world, but would end the event in a playoff against Cheyenne Knight, Azahara Munoz and eventual champion Stacy Lewis and rise within the top 200 in just one week. The performance would propel her to a career resurgence, specifically four wins and the LET Order of Merit by the end of the 2020 season. After overcoming mental and play struggles since 2016, Pedersen’s ability brought her to the Olympics, closer to her second appearance in the Solheim Cup at Inverness Club and currently to No. 68 in the Rolex Rankings.

To think of where the Dane was at 365 days ago, Pedersen said she appreciates the journey she’s taken since one of the last times she was in the ‘Home of Golf.’

“I’m coming in a little bit more confident this year. But I’m happy to be where I am. I’m happy that I’ve grown from last year but I’m still trying to grow. I’m still trying to achieve a lot more than I have,” said Pedersen. “But it’s all good steps in the right direction.”

 

PATIENCE THE NAME OF THE GAME FOR ATTHAYA

Two days, two under-par rounds for Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul at the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open. With little experience on the links, the 18-year-old prodigy, who currently sits in a tie for second at -6, was surprised by her play at Dumbarnie Links. “I don’t even know how I can shoot under par today and yesterday,” said Thitikul. “It’s a good round, I’ll take it all.”

The three-time Ladies European Tour winner struggled at the start of Friday, recording bogeys at three of her first five holes. Thitikul responded with six birdies in the next 10 holes, including four consecutive from Nos. 12-15. Despite one last bogey on 17, Thitikul was satisfied with her comeback.

“I have to be patient today. Really be patient today, not go like really aggressive to the pin, just like time to be safe,” said Thitikul. “And if you can make it, but if not it’s okay, and then you just go into the next hole and keep it up.”

Through nine LET events in 2021, Thitikul has earned a win at the Tipsport Czech Ladies Open along with five additional top-five finishes. This past May, she also finished runner-up to 36-hole leader Ariya Jutanugarn at the Honda LPGA Thailand in her 10th start on the LPGA Tour. She credited the momentum from her season as a helpful factor as she navigates a style of course she is adjusting to.

“I have so many good tournaments before, like the finish,” said Thitikul. “And then a good momentum helped me a lot in this week and so many weeks.”

 

SPONSOR INVITE THAMMARAKS SWINGING INTO THE WEEKEND

Prima Thammaraks may be seven shots back of fellow Thai Ariya Jutanugarn’s lead at the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open, but none of it seems to phase an already incredible experience for the 29-year-old. In Fife on a sponsor’s exemption from Trust Golf, Thammaraks is competing in her first LPGA Tour event since 2019, where she missed the cut at the U.S. Women’s Open. She’ll see the weekend on Tour for the first time in four years, last achieved at the 2017 MCKAYSON New Zealand Women’s Open. A regular on the Symetra Tour, she consciously made the decision to play full-time in the United States after spending most of the COVID-19 pandemic back home in Thailand.

“It’s almost a nice break. It’s kind of at that point of the Symetra season where it’s kind of in the middle and you’ve been playing a lot of tournaments in a row. You get a lot of the same people, a lot of the same routine, so it’s a nice change to be able to come here and switch that out a little bit,” said Thammaraks, who’s recorded two top-seven finishes in 2021 on the Symetra Tour. “It tests mentality to be more creative and more fun, just basically what the game is all about. So you’re here at the Home of Golf being reminded that golf can be fun and you just need to play. It’s not about perfect shots.”

Thammaraks’ 70-72 has her at -2 and in a tie for 20th with eight other players. She has competitively played links golf one other time in her career, the 2017 AIG Women’s Open at Kingsbarns in St. Andrews, where she finished 72nd. Though hard to prepare for, Thammaraks said she was excited by the challenge of swirling winds in the forecast, and was ready to show off her creativity. “Literally, this morning and excited that I finally get to play it the way that the locals get to play it, so I can say, oh, so you guys got the good weather and you didn’t get the links experience,” she said, shivering from the chills with a smile plastered across her face.

The 2016 LPGA Tour rookie said she’s proud of the way she’s handled herself at the TGWSO, and wants to take it one shot at a time in the final two days. “I’d be lying if I said that I don’t feel the pressure. Being sponsor exempt, you want to do well, with the main sponsor being the first-time sponsor of an LPGA event and they are my sponsor personally, I want to represent them well and I want to do a good job,” said Thammaraks.

“Basically I just want to go out there and hold myself to the standard and I think I did just that.”

 

AIG WOMEN’S OPEN QUALIFYING UPDATE

There are five spots available this week at the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open for the 2021 AIG Women’s Open, to be held Aug. 19-22 at Carnoustie. The five spots will be determined by the players with the five lowest scores after 72 holes at this week’s Women’s Scottish Open. In the case of a tie for the fifth position, a series of tiebreakers have been set to determine the final qualifier. If one of the qualifiers elects to not play in the AIG Women’s Open, the spot will not go down to the next available player. Any unused spots will be allocated to Final Qualifying on the Monday of the AIG Women’s Open.

The qualifying leaderboard through the second round is as follows:

  • The qualifying leaderboard through the second round is as follows:
  • T1, Kelsey MacDonald (-5)
  • T1, Lydia Hall (-5)
  • T3, Ssu-Chia Cheng (-3)
  • T3, Whitney Hillier (-3)
  • T5, Jing Yan (-2)
  • T5, Karolin Lampert, (-2)
  • T5, Becky Morgan, (-2)
  • T5, Prima Thammaraks, (-2)