02 Feb 2024 | Vic Open |
#VicOpen: Yoon and Kanazawa lead, with Davidson one back
by Patrick Taylor
The rare benign conditions players enjoyed on day one of the Vic Open were nowhere to be seen on Friday, with players battling the wind that famously defends the courses at 13th Beach so well. While Queensland’s Karis Davidson navigated the southerly winds relatively well in the afternoon on the Beach Course, finishing with a 1-over 73, she gave up her overnight lead to a pair of internationals who shone in the morning. Min A Yoon and Shina Kanazawa had the low rounds of the day, 68s on the Creek and Beach courses respectively, to find their way to the top of the leaderboard at 7-under. Although she struggled to find the fireworks she had on day one, Davidson was proud at the way she rallied, playing the final four holes in 1-under to stay right in the hunt for the weekend. “You have to really use your imagination (in the wind), and I felt like I got a little bit unlucky on a couple of holes,” the LPGA Tour member said. “I think I did fairly well. I’m not too unhappy with 1-over today especially on that course. It was tough.” Second place is a familiar position for Davidson at the Vic Open, having finished runner-up twice, but she is in a dangerous position heading into the weekend to finally break through. “It’s felt like my time for a few years now, but you know if it happens, it happens, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t,” she said. Korea’s Yoon continued her love affair with Australian golf courses by taking a share of the lead thanks to a round that included six birdies and just one bogey. Her win at last year's Webex Players Series Victoria event at Rosebud in January was just the beginning of a stellar few weeks in Australia. She followed up with a second-place finish at the Webex Players Series Murray River before finishing T15 at last year's Vic Open. After missing the cut last week at Rosebud as defending champion, Yoon is pleased to have turned her form around. "I'm glad to have finished the game well today, overall to be under par is better than last week," she said. "When I come to Australia it's so comfortable. "I have a lot of good memories here." Tied with Yoon is Japan’s Kanazawa, who was one of the few players to tame the Beach Course today with an impressive 4-under 68. Kanazawa, a Japan LPGA Tour member with 10 top-10s on her record, is part of a group of international golfers travelling with former world No.1 and defending Vic Open champion Jiyai Shin as their unofficial leader and mentor. The group has already spent time at Hidden Valley and Peninsula Kingswood, and is staying on for another week at 13th Beach after the Vic Open. Shin sits in a share of fifth at 4-under at the halfway point, while Australian great Karrie Webb (75) made the cut safely at +5 in her return to tournament golf.
The only place to watch the Vic Open live is on Fox Sports, available on Foxtel and Kayo.
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