Saturday, May 31, 2003

THIRTEEN years ago a then-unknown Swedish player, Annika Sorenstam, won the St Rule Trophy on her way to winning fame and a small fortune on the United States LPGA Tour.
Could Karin Borjeskog, also from Sweden, be Annika Sorenstam Mark II? She certainly looked something special as she spreadeagled the 2003 St Rule Trophy field today with a brilliant opening round of seven-under-par 68 over the New Course in bright but breezy conditions which were not easy.
"I cannot believe that score," said Anne Laing, winner of the Centenary Scottish women's championship over the Old Course at St Andrews the week before last. "I went round in par 75 and thought that wasn't bad. Instead I find myself seven strokes behind the leader."
Karin, who had played the course only once before, in a practice round on Friday, birdied the third, fourth, 10th, 11th, 12th, 14th, 15th and 18th and had even had one bogey, at the fifth, in the following figures which may well be a women's course record:
OUT: 4 4 4 3 4 5 4 5 3 - 36 (one under par).
IN: 4 3 4 3 3 3 5 3 4 - 32 (six under par)
Karen will start tomorrow's final rounds over the Old Course with a two-stroke lead from Ireland international Martina Gillen (Beaverstown), a golf scholarship student at Kent State University in America.
Martina highlighed her card with an eagle 3 at the 401yd, par-5 sixth and birdied the 10th, 12th, 14th and 16th in halves of 36 and 34. She had one bogey, at the ninth.
Miss Gillen comes straight from the American college circuit as do University of California team-mates Vikki Laing from Musselburgh and Ria Quiazon who were lying fourth and joint fifth respectively at the end of the first day's play at St Andrews.
Vikki had a two-under-par 73, to be one while Ria, despite her lack of experience over links courses, was able to match the par of 75.
"We didn't fly in until last night," said Vikki "but we're not feeling too tired at the moment. Maybe it will catch up on us on Sunday."
Four of Miss Laing's five birdies came at the par-5 holes and she would probably have birdied the par-5 18th, which is "only" 386yd but for driving into a fairway bunker and having to come out sideways.
Vikki birdied the sixth, 10th, 11th, 12th and 16th in halves of 38 (one over par) and 35 (three under). Her only bogeys came at the second and ninth.
Rachel Lomas, hot on the trail of a place in the England team for the home internationals at Cruden Bay in September, was joint runner-up in the "Helen Holm" Scottish women's open amateur stroke at Troon on her last visit to a Scottish links. She was back in form here with a five-birdie, two-bogey round of 72 (36-36) which held the clubhouse lead for an hour or two.