Maguire one-under; Meadow withdraws as Thomson leads in Scotland

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Maguire one-under; Meadow withdraws as Thomson leads in Scotland

Leona Maguire (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Leona Maguire posted a one-under par opening 71 while Stephanie Meadow withdrew injured as Michele Thomson took a two-shot lead on home soil on day one of the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open.

Meadow withdrew before her opening tee-time, leaving Cavan professional Maguire as Ireland’s sole representative in the field. Maguire was understandably slow into her work after traveling from the Tokyo Olympics but hung in well to card three birdies and two bogeys in a one-under par effort that leaves her in a tie for 35th overnight, six shots back of the lead.

The skies lightened up for the first day in Scotland and Thomson walked away with the 18-hole lead after recording a seven-under 65, a season-best for her on the Ladies European Tour. The Aberdeen native regrouped after a bogey on the first hole to card an eagle on No. 2 and went on to birdie seven of her final 11 holes.

“Probably had a little bit of a nervous start I would say. Obviously being at The Scottish Open, it’s my fourth one now but obviously still got the nerves off the first tee and hit a bit of a ropey drive and just made bogey from there which was fine,” said Thomson. “Stood up on the second tee and just restarted, hit a great drive down the middle and had 240 and just thought, I’ve got adrenaline here, just going to go for it and hit it on, made eagle and from there it snowballed from there and hit a lot of good wedges into holes and drove well off the tee.

“The only shot really I missed all day was probably my drive at the first. Yeah, it was just one of those nice rounds.”

This is only her 12th appearance in an LPGA Tour event since 2017. Her career-best finish is a tie for 48th at the 2018 ISPS Handa Australian Open. She’s only made the cut once in four previous Women’s Scottish Open starts, finishing 70th last year. No Scot has ever won this tournament. As the 2008 Scottish Amateur champion competes with five other native players for the Jock MacVicar Leading Scot Trophy, Thomson said she’ll keep herself grounded at least through Friday.

“I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself,” said Thomson, who turned professional in 2009, and became a police officer for a few years before returning to the game. “Just want to play every hole as it comes and see what happens at the of the week.”

Two-time LPGA Tour winner Jasmine Suwannapura joins 2020 Tokyo Olympian Anne van Dam and major champion Yuka Saso in a tie for second at -5. Suwannapura, who returns to the links and Scotland for the first time since her runner-up performance at the 2020 AIG Women’s Open at Royal Troon, started strong with four-straight birdies. The Thai native rebounded from a bogey on No. 11 and a double bogey on the next hole to ultimately post her lowest 18-hole score since the second round of the Marathon LPGA Classic in July.

“I’m happy to be back here at Scotland. A lot of good memories here, and a couple people just like, ‘Oh, Jasmine always play well here.’ I’m like, you know, I don’t want to expect anything. Just have fun here,” said Suwannapura. “We got lucky with no wind this morning and being able to score 5-under, it’s totally a good day for me.”

Mi Jung Hur, who won the TGWSO in 2019 by six strokes, is one of 10 players tied for fifth at -4. Hur finished the day bogey-free, making four birdies on her front nine then parring the rest of the way.

“Here’s only one thing: Just keep [the ball] low,” said Hur. “If it’s helping, you can keep it low, too, but especially in the hurting, you have to keep it low for sure. No. 15, the par-5 15, I had 86 meters to the flag and my ball was way too high. It came back 20 meters short, which wasn’t that good. So, you have to keep it low.”

The 2020 Olympic bronze medalist Lydia Ko is T23 at -2, while defending champion Stacy Lewis sits in a tie for 35th heading into the second round.

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