Kang on hot streak for first major

The world No 2 is the highest-ranked player in the field at Royal Troon for the opening women’s major of the year

Last Updated: 18/08/20 3:26pm

Danielle Kang headlines the field at the AIG Women's Open
Danielle Kang headlines the field at the AIG Women’s Open

Danielle Kang hopes she has finally got to grips with links golf ahead of her bid for a third win in four weeks at the AIG Women’s Open.

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The world No 2 is the highest-ranked player in the field at Royal Troon for the opening women’s major of the year, having won the LPGA Drive On Championship and Marathon LPGA Classic in successive weeks after the LPGA Tour resumed last month.

Kang has missed the cut in five of her previous nine Women’s Open appearances and finished no better than last year’s tied-41st, although arrives this week off the back of claiming a share of fifth at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open.

Kang's only previous major victory came at the 2017 Women's PGA Championship
Kang’s only previous major victory came at the 2017 Women’s PGA Championship

“Last week was tough for me, actually,” Kang said. “I hit the ball so well and I think that set me up for this week. I got a good feel for links golf, the bounces and the rolls that we are going to get.

I mean, links golf, people know that it’s just going to be a little bit slower greens, subtle breaks and accepting missed putts were a bit harder for me than normal.

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“Other than that, I think I hit the ball quite well and went around the golf course pretty well. I’m really proud of how I took on links golf in general because my results in links golf hasn’t been great, so a fifth finish is my highest finish.”

Japan’s Hinako Shibuno returns as defending champion after last year’s shock victory at Woburn, with the 21-year-old expecting a different challenge in her first visit to Scotland.

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European Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew expects par to be a good score at the AIG Women’s Open, with tough conditions expected at Royal Troon
European Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew expects par to be a good score at the AIG Women’s Open, with tough conditions expected at Royal Troon

“Winning the tournament was a life-changer for me and I became like a celebrity in Japan,” Shibuno said through an interpreter. “I’ve had a lot of experiences but nothing that tops winning the Women’s Open.

“If I can keep my shots straight, and don’t bend the ball into the rough, I don’t really think that I’ll be in much trouble. But I especially think that I need to be careful of putting it into the fairway bunkers. That would put me in some trouble!

Flashback: Shibuno’s 2019 victory

Report and highlights from Hinako Shibuno’s victory at the Women’s Open in 2019

“This is my first time in Scotland and I do get that impression of the links course being very windy. You do get various weather all in one day! But I have been fully preparing myself to play well over here.

“I’m going to have to play smart. But, at the same time, as defending champion, I’m going to enjoy it, and also I want to show a new part of my game this year.”

Watch the AIG Women’s Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Thursday from 10.30am on Sky Sports Golf, Sky Sports Mix, Sky Sports Main Event and the Sky Sports YouTube channel.

Source : Sky Sports