By Vince Robitaille
GolfWRX Staff Writer
The Open – on either circuit – is only truly enjoyable when the setting reminds us of a certain Dennis Farina line in a certain Guy Ritchie film. Well, if such an assumption is valid – and for me, it is – this year’s edition of the Ricoh Women’s British Open was undeniably entertaining. Amongst golf’s elite assembled on the grounds of the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, only one could withstand the high winds and soar on her way to a double-double: now two-time Golfer of the Year and champion in back-to-back weeks.
After a rather harsh opening day that had no less than 11 players in a tie for third at 1-under – a lone stroke behind South Korean co-leaders So Yeon Ryu and Haeji Kand – the action was abruptly halted. In fact, in the rarest of occurrences, R&A officials judged that climatic conditions were miles beyond playable; opting for a throwback 36-hole Sunday instead.
When the action picked up on that faithful morning, Shin, despite the commensurable workload left ahead of her and the proportionately wide window for her pursuers to catch-up, could breathe somewhat freely thanks to a five-shot lead acquired earned through a stunning Saturday 64. Duplicating the feat on said morning was Hall of Famer Karrie Webb, who pulled within four shots of the 2008 Women’s British Open champion. A dreadful tumble, however, would obliterate what could have been the Championship’s turning point; Webb giving up three strokes on her second loop’s first four holes effectively offsetting Shin’s triple-bogey on the 55th putting surface. From that point on, it was smooth sailing for the South Korean… Proverbially speaking, of course.