Meadow lies mid-division as Japan’s Hinako Shibuno sets the pace at Scottish Open

Ralph Casey

Stephanie Meadow (Photo by Scott Taetsch/PGA of America)

Stephanie Meadow lies nine shots off the blistering lead set by Japan’s Hinako Shibuno during this week’s Ladies European Tour and LPGA co-sanctioned event. 

Meadow is the only Irishwoman playing in the Scottish Open this weekend and the Northern Ireland golfer signed for a one over 73 at Dundonald Links, but it should have been at least two shots better as her card was marred with a double bogey seven at the last. 

However, she is still well in the hunt for vital tour money and points as she lies 39th in the placings and with a solid second round should make the cut after Friday’s play.


Major winner Shibuno meanwhile fired an opening round of 64 (-8) to lead by two strokes at the end of the first day of the FREED GROUP Women’s Scottish Open Presented by Trust Golf.

The Japanese star, who won the AIG Women’s Open in 2019, was bogey-free on day one at Dundonald Links rolling in eight birdies.

Shibuno, who teed off from the tenth hole, began with a birdie and then made four on the trot on holes 13 through 16 and the major winner finished her round with a flourish making another three birdies in-a-row on holes six, seven and eight to sit at the top of the leaderboard.

Shibuno said: “It was really good overall. I putted well. I like Scotland and I like playing in Scotland and the UK. I surprised myself with the four birdies in a row.

“My finger is getting better, it’s healing now. My fingers and upper body was a little tight, but my sequence is getting better. I’m just being relaxed and more thinking about the sequence, the swing.”

Sweden’s Madeline Sagstrom sits in outright second place on six-under-par after firing a 66 on the first day at Dundonald.

The 30-year-old got off to a hot start with birdies on 10, 11 and 12 before adding another on the 16th hole before a dropped shot on the first but she soon bounced back with birdies on three, seven and nine for her round of six-under.

The LPGA Tour winner commented, “It started really solid with three birdies right away.

“I made some really good iron shots today. It kept the driver in play and not fantastic, but I think my iron shots kept me in it. I made some easy putts and overall, a pretty easy day.

“I think it’s taken me a few years to figure links golf out. As an amateur, I hated it. I can’t hit it low, but I started working with Shane, my caddie who is Irish, two years ago.

“We’ve really been pushing it since and been able to be much more creative on the golf course and he’s helping me see the different shots now, so it’s really improved over the years. It’s been a journey.”

Three players are in a share of third place with Denmark’s Nicole Bloch Entrap, Sweden’s Caroline Headwall and American Caroline Inglis all on four-under-par.


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