Playing in borrowed clothes doesn’t seem to bother Jessica Korda at the Women’s British Open.
Still waiting for her suitcase to arrive at Muirfield, Korda bounced back from an early bogey to shoot a 5-under 66 in the first round on Thursday, putting her one shot behind leader Hinako Shibuno of Japan.
Korda had four birdies and an eagle on the 17th despite missing her normal clothes after her luggage got stranded at an airport in Switzerland.
Shibuno, the 2019 champion, birdied the first three holes and had an eight-for-65 overall. Scotswoman Louise Duncan and Mexican Gabby Lopez were tied for third, two strokes back.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve played this well, especially putting. Honestly, it was a bit scary,” Shibuno said through an interpreter. “I haven’t changed much. My caddy told me that my body balance was off balance when I missed putts. Once I focused on that, I could play a lot better.”
Brooke Henderson, of Smiths Falls, Ont., was tied for 13th after shooting 1-under 70. Henderson returned to action on Thursday after winning her second career major two weeks ago at the Evian Championship in France.
Maude-Aimée Leblanc of Sherbrooke, Que., who finished eighth last week at the Scottish Open, shot a 5-for-76 first round.
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Nelly Korda, Jessica’s sister, was also tied for 13th.
Catriona Matthew, also a former British Women’s Open champion and two-time Solheim Cup captain, was selected to strike the first tee shot on Thursday after growing up near Muirfield, which is hosting the event for the first time. Only six years ago, Muirfield wouldn’t even allow women to set foot in the clubhouse.
Matthew struggled to get a 5 of 76, making double bogeys first and 10 and failing to make a single birdie.
“To be the first women’s professional event to be played here is awesome, and me being local, it was a huge honor to hit the first tee shot,” said Matthew. “Apart from the two doubles, I played pretty well. It’s a bit frustrating.”