ISPS Handa Vic Open Ladies R1

Sagstrom and Kang take opening lead

February 06-09
13th Beach GC, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
AU$1,600,000
Round 2, Round 3, Round 4


After 18 holes at the ISPS Handa Vic Open, Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom is back in a familiar place – at the top of an LPGA Tour leaderboard. Sagstrom, who two weeks ago became a Rolex First-Time Winner at the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio, shot a bogey-free 8-under 65 on the par-73 Creek Course at 13th Beach Golf Links and is tied for the lead with Republic of Korea’s Haeji Kang.


Both players took full advantage of the morning’s calm winds and prime scoring conditions, with Kang joining Sagstrom with eight birdies and no bogeys on Thursday. Starting on No. 10, Sagstrom opened with birdies at five of her first seven holes and rolled in with three more birdies over her closing three holes.

“I think currently I’m really working hard on my patience. Today I came out with a really hot start and then in the middle kind of just got dry there for a little bit. Just stay patient, stay patient,” said Sagstrom. “Then I finished off with three birdies. So I think that’s what’s really working out for me, and obviously I’m hitting the ball very nicely, putting nice.”

Making her debut as an LPGA Tour Member, rookie Haley Moore shot a 7-under 66, a round highlighted by an eagle at No. 18. She is tied for third with second-year player Linnea Strom, who eagled holes 2 and 18, and Peiyun Chien, the only player in the top 14 to play her first round on the par-72 Beach Course.


“I played very steady all day and did not make a lot of mistakes at all and just continued to do one shot at a time and yeah, just enjoy it out there,” said Strom, who made her LPGA Tour debut at this event in 2019. “It was fun to have one eagle in the beginning and then also to finish on 18 with an eagle.”

Proving once again that age is just a number, 56-year-old Dame Laura Davies is tied for sixth at 6-under 67. Davies’ last LPGA Tour victory came at the 2001 Wegmans Rochester Invitational, while she captured the Senior Slam in 2018 with victories at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open and the Senior LPGA Championship.

Defending champion Celine Boutier opened with an even-par 72 on the Beach Course and is tied for 80th.


Madelene Sagstrom continues early-season success

On January 26, Madelene Sagstrom’s biggest dream came true when she joined the ranks of LPGA Tour winners with her victory at the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio. Just 11 days later and the 27-year-old Swede has continued her roll of success, shooting a bogey-free 8-under 65 in the first round of the ISPS Handa Vic Open to sit tied for the lead after 18 holes.

“I think after my first win there definitely added confidence to everything, just knowing that I can compete out here, knowing that I can win on Tour,” said Sagstrom, who represented Europe at the 2017 Solheim Cup. “I think that is definitely helping me out. It’s also created kind of a little bit of a calmness; just okay, it’s going to be fine, it will all work out, it’s the beginning of the season.”


Haeji Kang looking for Vic Open redemption

In 2012, Haeji Kang nearly made a miraculous comeback at the Vic Open, held that year in Melbourne. With Joanna Klatten in the clubhouse with a two-stroke lead, Kang holed out for eagle on the 72nd hole to force a playoff. Klatten quickly abandoned her celebration and headed back to the course, officially capturing the win when Kang bogeyed the first playoff hole.

“I should have just played slower and made her drink a little more,” Kang said with a laugh.

Australia is a truly comfortable place for the 29-year-old Korean, who moved to Queensland’s famed Gold Coast for three years in high school to focus on her game. She won numerous elite amateur events during her time here and calls the area her second home. She really looked at home during Thursday’s first round on the Creek Course. Playing in the first group out, she carded a bogey-free round of 8-under 65, tied for the third-lowest round of her LPGA Tour career.

“I usually play better when I go off quite early in the morning” said Kang. “There was not much wind, so I think it was – that was one of the keys on this golf course, when there’s no wind, then we just go for the flag and we just roll it in.”


Laura Davies still has competitive fire

“Still couldn’t win the group.”

Ever the competitor, Dame Laura Davies couldn’t help but laugh that her opening-round 67, her best round since 2018, was outdone by her playing partner Madelene Sagstrom’s 65. Today’s walk around the Creek Course at 13th Beach Golf Links was her first competitive round since August 2019, when she tied for 24th at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open.

“My mum wasn’t very well and I just stayed at home with her. Just kept entering tournaments and had to withdraw, withdraw because she wasn’t getting any better,” said Davies, who has more than 80 professional victories to her name, including 20 on the LPGA Tour. “It just worked out that I had six months off and now I turn up here not knowing what I’m doing. I’ve been on Tour 35 years and I didn’t have a clue what to do. It was a bit weird, but a good result.”


A good result, indeed. Playing in what she called one of her favorite tournaments, the 56-year-old from England said her putting today was some of the best of her illustrious career. She gave much the credit to good friend and former LPGA Tour player Rebecca Artis, an Australia native who is caddying for Davies on this Down Under swing.

“She’s a really good green reader; she does that AimPoint, which bamboozles me. I haven’t got a clue what she’s up to, but she got the lines right,” said Davies. “If I keep striking it like that and she keeps reading it like that, we might have a chance making the cut and make the weekend and see what happens, which when I got here I wasn’t too sure about.”


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Lifestyle
By GT Editor
Pos.
Player
To Par
R1
T1
Madelene Sagstrom
-8
65
T1
Haeji Kang
-8
65
T3
Peiyun Chien
-7
65
T3
Linnea Strom
-7
66
T3
Haley Moore
-7
66
T6
Klara Spilkova
-6
67
T6
Tiffany Joh
-6
67
T6
Cheyenne Knight
-6
67
T6
Pornanong Phatlum
-6
67
T6
Pavarisa Yoktuan
-6
67
T6
Christina Kim
-6
67
T6
Laura Davies
-6
67
T6
Xiyu Lin
-6
67
T6
Dana Finkelstein
-6
67
T15
Stephanie Meadow
-5
67
T15
Stephanie Kyriacou (a)
-5
68
T15
Matilda Castren
-5
68
T15
Pei-Ying Tsai
-5
68
T15
Hee Young Park
-5
68
T15
Alena Sharp
-5
68
T15
Cydney Clanton
-5
68
T22
Jeongeun Lee6
-4
68
T22
Ally McDonald
-4
68
T22
Ayean Cho
-4
69
T22
Mina Harigae
-4
69
T22
Jin Hee Im
-4
69
T22
Perrine Delacour
-4
69
T28
Jiwon Jeon
-3
69
T28
Hannah Green
-3
69
T28
Jasmine Suwannapura
-3
69
T28
Minjee Lee
-3
69
T28
Dani Holmqvist
-3
69
T28
Cristie Kerr
-3
69
T28
Hye-Jin Choi
-3
69
T28
Paige Stubbs
-3
69
T28
Leona Maguire
-3
69
T28
Ho Yu An (a)
-3
70
T28
Julieta Granada
-3
70
T28
Albane Valenzuela
-3
70
T28
Dottie Ardina
-3
70
T41
Inbee Park
-2
70
T41
Sarah Schmelzel
-2
70
T41
Suzuka Yamaguchi
-2
70
T41
Linnea Johansson
-2
70
T41
Alana Uriell
-2
70
T41
Hee Jeong Lim
-2
70
T41
Karine Icher
-2
70
T41
Yu Liu
-2
70
T41
Lauren Stephenson
-2
70
T41
Robyn Choi
-2
70
T41
Tiffany Chan
-2
70
T41
Wei-Ling Hsu
-2
71
T41
Caroline Hedwall
-2
71
T41
Jennifer Chang
-2
71
T41
Jeong Eun Lee
-2
71
T41
Austin Ernst
-2
71
T41
Na Yeon Choi
-2
71
T41
Amy Olson
-2
71
T41
Sarah Kemp
-2
71
T41
Ssu-Chia Cheng
-2
71
T61
Diksha Dagar
-1
71
T61
So Yeon Ryu
-1
71
T61
Min A Yoon
-1
71
T61
Charlotte Heath (a)
-1
71
T61
Kim Kaufman
-1
71
T61
Anne van Dam
-1
71
T61
Min Seo Kwak
-1
71
T61
Yealimi Noh
-1
71
T61
Gemma Dryburgh
-1
72
T61
Esther Henseleit
-1
72
T61
Robynn Ree
-1
72
T61
Wichanee Meechai
-1
72
T61
Hira Naveed
-1
72
T61
Esther Lee
-1
72
T61
Stephanie Na
-1
72
T61
Katherine Kirk
-1
72
T61
Jane Park
-1
72
T61
Elizabeth Szokol
-1
72
T61
Kelly Tan
-1
72
T80
Mel Reid
E
72
T80
Celine Boutier
E
72
T80
Munchin Keh
E
72
T80
Mariah Stackhouse
E
72
T80
Maria Fassi
E
72
T80
Maria Fernanda Torres
E
72
T80
Manon De Roey
E
72
T80
Jenny Coleman
E
72
T80
Jing Yan
E
73
T80
Hanee Song
E
73
T80
Yui Kawamoto
E
73
T80
Cheyenne Woods
E
73
T92
Sarah Burnham
1
73
T92
Karis Davidson
1
73
T92
Su Oh
1
73
T92
Emma Talley
1
73
T92
Jiyai Shin
1
73
T92
Kylie Henry
1
73
T92
Hee-Won Jung
1
73
T92
Lindsey Weaver
1
73
T92
Lindy Duncan
1
73
T92
Daniela Darquea
1
74
T92
Charlotte Thomas
1
74
T92
Tonje Daffinrud
1
74
T92
Maia Schechter
1
74
T92
Lauren Kim
1
74
T92
Stacy Lewis
1
74
T92
Marianne Skarpnord
1
74
T108
Andrea Lee
2
74
T108
Yuka Saso
2
74
T108
Giulia Molinaro
2
74
T108
Katja Pogacar
2
74
T108
Beatriz Recari
2
74
T108
Pajaree Anannarukarn
2
74
T108
Jillian Hollis
2
75
T108
Meghan MacLaren
2
75
T108
Louise Ridderstrom
2
75
T108
Karrie Webb
2
75
T118
Jennifer Song
3
75
T118
Ryann O’Toole
3
75
T118
Sakura Yokomine
3
75
T118
Hana Lee
3
75
T118
Haru Nomura
3
76
T118
Ashleigh Buhai
3
76
T118
Mariajo Uribe
3
76
T118
Soo Jin Lee
3
76
T118
Marissa Steen
3
76
T127
Breanna Gill
4
76
T127
Grace Kim (a)
4
76
T127
Ayako Uehara
4
76
T127
Elmay Viking
4
77
T131
Whitney Hillier
5
77
T131
Sarah Jane Smith
5
77
T131
Ayaka Sugihara
5
78
T131
Felicity Johnson
5
78
T131
Peng-Shan Liu (a)
5
78
T131
Tahnia Ravnjak
5
78
T137
Brianna Do
6
78
T137
Ling-Jie Chen (a)
6
78
T139
Elizabeth Nagel
7
79
T139
Pernilla Lindberg
7
79
T139
Mind Muangkhumsakul
7
79
142
Patty Tavatanakit
8
80
T143
Christine Wolf
9
81
T143
Katherine Perry
9
81
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