13 Jan 2022 | Professional golf |
The WPGA: Su Oh dominates day one
by PGA of Australia
By Jim Tucker
Victorian Su Oh burst on to the scene by winning Karrie Webb’s signature event as an 18-year-old and is now setting the pace for the trophy named in her honour.
Oh glided in six birdie putts during an impressive five-under-par 66 on Thursday to set the pace at the inaugural Fortinet Australian WPGA Championship at Royal Queensland.
She shrugged off a tricky breeze, a breakfast tee time and the firm, grainy greens by riding the groove she found from the moment she stepped up at 6.45am.
A pinpoint short iron to under half a metre on her opening hole, the 10th, and a sure right-to-left putt on the next gave her a birdie-birdie springboard.
Oh has been a fixture on the LPGA Tour in the United States for six seasons since her breakout moment when winning the 2015 Volvik RACV Ladies Masters on the Gold Coast in just her second pro event.
The Masters was the event won eight times by the great Karrie Webb, whose name now adorns the trophy being played for by Oh in the 24-strong women’s field at RQ.
“It’s such a honour to be playing for the Karrie Webb Cup. I don’t really want to think about that too much because I still have three days to go but it (winning) would mean a lot,” Oh said.
Oh was delighted with her round but dismissed any theory she is a rare Melburnian who loves Queensland’s grainy greens because of her 2015 success.
“That’s funny. I was thinking about that. I actually don’t like grainy and I don’t like the heat so I’m glad I shot a good score today. A second win in Queensland would be quite nice,” Oh said.
She doesn’t like early starts either but got a pleasant surprise when joining Min Woo Lee and Blake Windred on the 10th tee at 6.45.
“I was coming to the course and they were checking credentials at five o’clock in the morning and I was like, surely there’ll be nobody here,” Oh said.
“I got to the tee and the tee was surrounded. It was really nice to see. Having the men and women playing together hopefully it helps to bring the crowd.
“Maybe everyone likes to get up earlier before the heat here or something. I can tell you in Melbourne, people would not be out there at 6.45.”
Oh thoroughly enjoyed playing beside Min Woo Lee (68) having so often played with his sister Minjee Lee on the LPGA Tour.
“He’s really impressive, short game, pitch shots, bombs it as everybody knows,” Oh said.
“The guys play a different game so it’s sort of nice to see what kind of shots they’ve got. Sometimes I’m like, I hit it a lot straighter than them so it’s also kind of nice to know.”
Oh felt for Steph Kyriacou and Sarah Kemp, who were both late withdrawals from the event because of COVID concerns.
“I just feel really bad for them. I think Steph maybe wasn’t feeling that great so hopefully she’s okay,” Oh said.
She leads by three shots.
Sydneysider Grace Kim (69) pitched to inside two metres on the second hole to grab the first of her four birdies to sit second in the women’s event.
Gold Coast’s Karis Davidson (70) had six birdies but scarred her scorecard with five bogeys and rued pulling a three-metre birdie putt on the final hole.
Jointly placed at one-under-par with Davidson were Julienne Soo (70) and amateur Sarah Wilson (70).
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