Bronte Law. LET
It was a solid start for Englishwoman Bronte Law on Thursday at the ISPS Handa World Invitational. The 28-year-old carded a solid three-under 70 at Castlerock on day one, making four birdies and one bogey to sit one off the lead of Switzerland’s Kim Metraux, England’s Gabriella Cowley, Sweden’s Ellinor Sudow and Australia’s Karis Davidson on the same course of the mixed, double-venue event, co-sanctioned with the DP World Tour and LPGA.
Starting her day on the par-4 10th hole, Law grabbed a birdie early on the par-5 11th, and then made two more on 14 and 16, both of which are par 3s. She dropped a shot on 18 to turn in 35 but birdied the par-5 3rd hole to erase her mistake, parring out to finish with a 70 and sit one back of the lead. Law was incredibly pleased with her performance on a difficult, windy day in Northern Ireland and will look to build off this strong first-round showing over the next 54 holes.
“Those into-wind holes were very challenging,” said Law, who hit 11 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens. “Some pin positions there is not much green to work with, and when a gust of wind blows in your face, it makes that landing area even smaller. So being smart with where you want to leave yourself. You know you’re not always going to hit all the greens, so leaving yourself in position to where you are more likely to make up and down. Thought I managed that pretty well today. I think that’s the key when you’re playing this style of golf course. I think it’s a lot of fun. But you have to stay switched on all day.”
Law will now set her sights on Galgorm Castle Golf Club, a venue that differs drastically from the links-style golf she played at Castlerock, a change in pace that will take some adjustment from the LPGA veteran.
“I’m going to go over there on the putting green now and get to grips with the green speeds because they’re slightly different, hit some shots on the range,” Law said. “Just kind of get out of the wind mentality for links courses and a little more target golf as it will be out there tomorrow. It’s been playing a little softer, so, yeah, very different.”
It was a steady day for Swiss star Metraux, who only had one dropped shot on her card and rolled in five birdies.
“Just overall a really solid day,” said Metraux. “I started off well with a birdie on one and that kind of got me going through the round.
“I managed to not really miss many greens. The only one I missed was when I made bogey on 15. I was a bit unfortunate to make a bogey on a reachable par-five, but overall I was just really solid from tee to green and managed to drop a few putts, which was really nice.
“Links is definitely something different than what we play year long, but we did play Scottish two weeks ago. That kind was good preparation I guess for today and most of the tournaments we play on LET, although not links courses, we’ve had quite a windy season.
“Galgorm is very different from here. It’s like two completely different worlds. A lot softer course with thick rough, so it’s definitely a different challenge, but if I keep hitting fairways and greens we’ll be in good shape.”
England’s Cowley got off to a solid start making birdies on the third, eighth, 10th and 11th holes.
The 27-year-old dropped a shot on the 13th but soon bounced back with birdies on 15 and 17, but unfortunately found trouble on the last and ended with a bogey for her round of four-under.
“For my birdie on 10, it was playing quite tough into the wind,” she said. “I hit a really good drive and hit 5-iron and it was just perfect; I holed a good putt. I made a few birdies today which was nice.
“Being on a links course it was windy this afternoon, so I was just trying to manage the ball flight and the kind of shots that we’re trying to hit. I think the course was playing tough, but there were obviously a few par-fives that we can reach which was good for us.
“I like Galgorm. I played there for the last few years, so looking forward to tomorrow. My plan is similar to today. Trust what I’m doing and hit the shots that I need to hit and play good golf.
“Obviously completely different course, completely different style. It’s not so much managing how much it runs out and how much the wind will affect it. It’s about picking a good number and committing to it.”