VIPINGO RIDGE, Kenya, Dec 5 – England’s Liz Young opened up her Magical Kenya Ladies Open campaign with a superb round of 68 to emerge Club house Leaderon the opening day of the Ladies European Tour in Vipingo Ridge on Thursday.
Teeing off from the first alongside Emilie Alonso from France, she carded a first nine total of 35 courtesy of a couple of birdies at the par-3, fourth and the par-4 seventh; having holed the only bogey of the round at the par-3, eighth.
She had a better back nine, holing three birdies – at the par-5 11th, the par-5 15th and the par-3 17th – to card a back nine total of 33. Liz, who has had 14, top-ten finishes in 153 tournaments, came to the tournament on the back of a 16th-place finish at the Women’s Spanish Open.
Speaking at the end of her round, she said she was delighted with her performance adding that she is looking forward to playing steady rounds in the remaining days. Here’s the transcript of her interview after the round.
You’re the clubhouse leader. It must be a great feeling.
I played really solid. I’ve just played in Spain and I felt I played well there, but just made a few stupid mistakes. It was a top 20 finish, so I was happy. I’ve brought my game to Kenya and a few putts went in this morning.
You’re first nine was bogey free, so a good start.
Some of the greens are a little bit firm, but with a practise round, we know that. I’ve managed to stick a couple close, rolled in the putts and I did have a couple of good saves on my first nine, so that helps.
What do you make of your first visit to Kenya?
This resort is lovely and everyone has been so welcoming. The golf course is in great condition and I think the set-up is great. There are some tough par fours and some shorter ones where you can go for it. Overall, so far, so good.
I thought it would play long after the practise rounds, but today, it didn’t. We didn’t have as much wind as the practise days and they have moved the tee up on one, which really helped. I thought it would be a struggle to reach in two, but I had driver, 8-iron and there was little wind. I think it’s a good test of golf.
How were the conditions this morning? It was very hot and sticky.
I was on the range warming up this morning and my hands were getting very sweaty, which is unusual for me and I had to change my glove, which is something I never have to do.
I knew the ball was going to fly a bit and the last hour on the golf course the cloud cover came in and cooled it down a bit. First thing, it was quite hot out there.
I just want to keep playing how I’ve been playing and eliminate the silly mistakes. I had one stupid mistake today. I’ll just keep swinging it how I’ve been swinging it.
How do you assess the season?
Up and down. I had a bit of a dodgy middle and now I’m playing well. I find it difficult practising with a three-year-old. My practise schedule has definitely changed since having her and I think it’s for the better.
I’m definitely more focused than I was but I’m really pleased with how my swing is going and how I’m moving forward and looking forward to the 2020 season.
Have you picked up an injury?
I have tendonitis in my left ankle, and it hurts to walk, but luckily doesn’t affect any golf swing. The tape just gives it a bit of support. Last week’s hills really annoyed by it, but luckily this course is a bit flatter.
It started before France, falling over Isabelle’s toy sheep. I bruised my bone on the ankle and due to that I got tendonitis. Our physio, Philippa, says I just need to rest it for four to six weeks.