Former Rolex world No. 1 Jiyai Shin is back on her game.
With an 8-under-par 64 Saturday in the second round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open, Shin, 24, is seeking to claim back-to-back LPGA titles and her second major championship. Shin won the Women’s British Open in ’08 for her first LPGA title. She defeated Paula Creamer on the ninth hole of a sudden-death playoff last week at the Kingsmill Championship to claim her ninth LPGA title.
Some notes and nuggets to whet your appetite for Sunday’s finish to the Women’s British Open:
• Shin’s endurance will be tested with the women scheduled to play 36 holes Sunday with the third and fourth rounds to be played after severe weather scrubbed Friday’s action. Players will remain in their same pairings for the third and fourth rounds. The third round is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET) with the final round expected to conclude at 6:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. ET).
• Shin’s 64 Saturday was the lowest score shot in competition by a man or a woman at Royal Liverpool Golf Club. It was three shots better than the previous women’s mark, a 67 by Mhairi McKay at the ’96 Women’s British Amateur. It was a shot better than the men’s record shared by Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia, Ernie Els and Chris DiMarco (all shot in the ’06 British Open).
• Shin’s 64 wasn’t just the best round posted Saturday. It was the best by four shots.
• At her best, Shin is renowned for her accuracy. Though Royal Liverpool fairways are narrow this week, she hit 13 of 14 fairways on Saturday and all 18 greens in regulation.
• Shin succeeded Lorena Ochoa as the Rolex World No. 1 on May 3 of 2010. She held the top spot for 25 weeks in 2010 and the early part of 2011, but Shin overhauled her swing in ’11 in trying to find more distance and lost some form. Her problems were compounded with a back injury later that year and a wrist injury this year. She underwent surgery on her ailing wrist in May this year and missed two months recuperating.
• If a player from the Far East wins the Women’s British Open, she will complete the first Asian Slam. It will mark the first time Asia has claimed all four majors in the same calendar year. It would be the seventh consecutive major championship triumph by an Asian player and the eighth consecutive LPGA title by an Asian-born player this summer.
• Inbee Park, five shots behind Shin in second place, is on a hot streak. She has eight consecutive top-10 finishes.
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