Hinako Shibuno, great start in Muirfield at 23



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Hinako Shibuno, great start in Muirfield at 23

There are tournaments like this where everything seems to work for you. Hinako Shibuno, 23, can confirm this. Victorious in 2019 at Woburn – on a wooded course, the antithesis of the links usually chosen – for her first outing outside the Japanese professional circuit, she offers herself three years later the lead once again in the British Open thanks to a very solid card.

of 65 (-6). Despite the wind, which strengthened throughout the day to reach 40 km/h at times during the afternoon, the rookie on the LPGA Tour perfectly escaped the traps of the mythical par 71 of Muirfield, host of The Open 16 times between 1892 and 2013.

Benefiting from slightly more favorable weather in the early morning, Hinako Shibuno took the opportunity to quickly take the measure of the course by scoring three birdies on her first three holes. Before adding five more to his card, against two bogeys conceded on holes 4 and 14.

This very good start allows him to count one step ahead of the eldest of the Korda sisters, Jessica. Her youngest, Nelly, contenting herself with a 70 (-1) and an inaugural 13th place. Without taking the slightest bogey – the only one among the 144 players entered this week – on this very difficult day, the Mexican Gaby Lopez, 67 (-4), for her part took 3rd place on the leaderboard along with the Scottish Louise Duncan.

The latter had entered the history of the tournament last year in Carnoustie by finishing in the top 10 despite her status as an amateur player. Just behind, we find Céline Boutier, tied for fifth at -3 (68) with notably two winners in Majors this year: the Australian Minjee Lee (US Open) and the South Korean In Gee Chun (PGA Championship).

Thanks to a very solid set of irons (15 greens taken out of 18 in regulation) and a perfect putting, the Frenchwoman confirms her current good form on Scottish soil after her second place acquired last Sunday at the Scottish Open.

Perrine Delacour and Céline Herbin, the two other tricolors present in this 22nd edition of the British Open in Major mode, have had mixed fortunes. Author of two birdies at holes 4 and 5, the Picardy then conceded a first bogey at 7 before getting stuck at 14 and 15 with two new errors.

Fortunately, a final birdie at 17 allows him to stay in ambush in 26th place in the par total (71). Much more complicated first round for the Norman, 39, for whom this is the first Grand Slam tournament played this season.

Starting when the wind was blowing the strongest (4:06 p.m. local, 5:06 p.m. in France), it quickly folded, turning to +3 after nine holes before posting a heavy 77 (+6) which sends it in 118th position. Four moves away from a virtual cut currently set at +2...