Inicio Women's British Open AIG Women's British Open 2023 A ‘bulldog’ gobbles up the favourites at Walton Heath
Ally Ewing leads at the British with only four of the top 20 playing under par

A ‘bulldog’ gobbles up the favourites at Walton Heath

Ally Ewing
Ally Ewing estudia el golpe en el hoyo 16 de Walton Heath. © Steph Chambers / R&A

Walton Heath is a tough nut to crack. A very tough nut. This par 72 located in Surrey (England) is hosting a British Women’s tournament for the first time and has already shown its mettle on the opening day. The facts speak for themselves. Only two players from the world’s top ten and four from the top 20 have managed to make a dent in the course that hosts this AIG Women’s Open, where American Ally Ewing (-4) leads alone after making up for her two consecutive bogeys with a birdie and an eagle. A cheer for Mississippi State, the university where Ally McDonald studied, whose surname change is due to her marriage to Charly Ewing, coach of the Spanish bulldog Julia López.

But the crux of the matter, as Carlota Ciganda mentioned in the morning, seventh in this start, is that Walton Heath shows its claws and a double-digit score could perfectly be the winner on Sunday. In fact, only 32 golfers out of 143 (veteran Laura Davies retired after six holes) went under par and, remember, only four of the top 20 in the world: Hyo-Joo Kim (-2), Allisen Corpuz (-2), Nasa Hataoka (-2) and Charley Hull (-1), the latter with the advantage of knowing the course and sleeping at home. All the others tied or lost in the head-to-head during a round in which only a bit of wind blew in the afternoon. Nelly Korda (+1), Jin Young Ko (+1), Celine Boutier (+2), Ruoning Yin (PAR), Lydia Ko (+2) and Lilia Vu (PAR) do not have a guaranteed cut set at +1. Boutier, probably feeling the fatigue after consecutive victories in Evian and Scotland, struggled with five bogeys and a birdie in 14 flags, although she straightened things out a bit with birdies at 16 and 17.

Brooke Henderson (+3), Georgia Hall (+2), the defending champion Ashleigh Buhai (+2) and Lexi Thompson (+4) also had a rough time, while Rose Zhang (PAR) balanced the forces with Walton Heath waiting to gain ground in the morning shift of the second round.

In the afternoon, few could make a move. Veteran Amy Yang (-3) caught up with the group chasing Ewing (Lee6, Pedersen, Delacour and Boonchant) by being one of the 13 players who scored an eagle on the 16th. Ciganda is in a good place with -2 and she was joined hours later by some dangerous adversaries such as the South Koreans Hyo Jo Kim and In Gee Chun, as well as the American Corpuz.

Of the five Spanish players in the fray, three are currently within the cut: Carlota, Ana Peláez (+1) and the amateur Julia López (+1), who will try to maintain the love affair of the amateur players of the Armada in this Major, as they always surpassed the halfway point of the tournament. Nuria Iturrioz (+3) will have to improve her performance to continue and Carmen Alonso (+8), the only one who competed this afternoon, needs a miracle after a bleak start with six bogeys, two double bogeys and only a couple of birdies.

Live results of the AIG Women’s Open 2023