If you’re one of those people who automatically reach for a driver off the tee, consider the example of Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn at the CP Women’s Open at Priddis Green near Calgary.
“I use my driver if it’s wide enough and if I need the distance, but this week, I don’t need that,” said Jutanugarn, the second-ranked player in the world.
“Sometimes I feel more confident with my irons, so I feel like this one, I’ve got to make sure it’s on the fairway, so it’s good enough for me,” she said.
“I didn’t bring my driver out, so only three wood and two iron,” added Jutanugarn.
“I feel pretty good today because I hit my tee shot pretty good and I was calm on every shot, so I feel good,” she added.
There’s a good reason for her feeling so good. Going into the weekend at Priddis Greens, Jutanugarn is on top of the leaderboard at 12 under, three shots ahead of In Gee Chun and Stephanie Meadow
On Friday, she followed up her opening round 68, with a bogey-free, eight under 64 in which she hit all 14 fairways, while averaging 286 yards off the tee. She also only made 25 putts.
Jutanugarn came into Calgary after withdrawing during the third round of the Olympics in Rio, but she says she tested the knee earlier in the week and it was all systems go.
“I feel like I’m okay. I wanted to see how I’m feeling, but after that, like on Monday, it didn’t hurt that much and today it’s getting a lot better,” she said.
A pair of Canadians are tied for 14th at six under as Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Sherbrooke, Que., put up a pair of 69s to go into the weekend, with Hamilton’s Alena Sharp following up her first round 68 with a 70.
“I’m hitting it great, so I’ll just keep that going and just try to make a few more putts. I mean, these greens make the US Open look like nothing. They’re super fast, super firm, and it’s all about putting out here,” said Leblanc.
Just back from the Olympics in Rio, Sharp says she hasn’t played well at the Canadian Women’s Open since 2007 and hopes she’s established a momentum going into the weekend.
“This means a lot to me to get a good start. I’ve been playing well. I played well last week. The score didn’t really show and putts started to drop this week and hope it can continue this weekend,” said Sharp.
Calgary amateur Jaclyn Lee continues an impressive performance as she is tied for 20th at five under going into the weekend after scores of 69-70.
“I hoped to be around for the weekend. That was definitely a goal coming into this tournament and to shoot five under for the past two rounds, that’s a bit of a surprise for me. I’m happy with it, for sure. I know that I’m capable of doing that, but, yeah, I’m really happy with the way I’ve been playing,” said Lee.
“These past two days have been really fun, incredible – just a great experience. It’s been a bonus on top of that to play well,” she added.
Brooke Henderson is one shot back at four under as she hit the midway point with scores of 72-68 with her second round getting to six under before a double bogey on her next-to-last hole.
She says she feels confident going into the weekend.
“I did a lot of really good things (Friday), which was really exciting. There’s been times at the Olympics and now today that I was very close to having a really special round and kind of I got those good feelings again that I haven’t had in a little while,” said Henderson.
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