108 players were lined up this Monday in North Berwick (Scotland) to try to win one of the twelve spots in play over 18 holes for the AIG Women’s Open which starts Thursday in Muirfield (Scotland). Among the entrants, five French women: Céline Herbin, Pauline Roussin-Bouchard, Agathe Sauzon, Emma Grechi and Anne-Lise Caudal.
Céline Herbin, results
The first two cities signed the same card of 70 (-2) before taking the final tenth place. The other three finished further on the leaderboard: 41st at +2 for Sauzon, 50th at +3 for Grechi and 82nd at +5 for Caudal.
Tied with four other golfers, Céline Herbin and Pauline Roussin-Bouchard had to settle for a play-off. In the rain and for only three tickets. Associated in the second part with the Thai Arpichaya Yubol, the French first played in the par on the par 4 of the 18th. On their second attempt, Roussin-Bouchard could not do better than a new par while her two competitors managed to slam the birdie. Eliminated, PRB is given a place of 2nd reserve.
Still in the running at the 3rd hole of the play-off with the Indian Aditi Ashok and Yubol (the Taiwanese Pei-yun Chien had qualified from the first hole of the play-off), Céline Herbin finally achieved her goals thanks to a sublime long distance birdie. Imitated a few seconds later by Aditi Ashok. Yubol, like the English amateur Emilie Price, join PRB as reserves.
Céline Herbin, who has partial playing rights on the LPGA Tour, will play her fifth British after missing the cut three times in 2018, 2019 and 2021. In 2020, she took 51st place. There will therefore be three Tricolores at the start this week: Céline Boutier, Perrine Delacour and Céline Herbin.
Muirfield is a private links golf course which is home to The Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. Located in Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland and overlooking the Firth of Forth, Muirfield was one of the courses where the British Open is played in rotation.
Muirfield has hosted the British Open fifteen times, most recently in 2013 which saw victory for Phil Mickelson. Other Open winners at Muirfield include Nick Faldo (twice), Ernie Els, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Henry Cotton, Alf Perry, Walter Hagen, Harry Vardon and Harold Hilton. Muirfield was also the scene of the British Amateur Open on ten occasions as well as the Ryder Cup in 1973, the Walker Cup in 1959 and 1979, the Curtis Cup in 1952 and 1984, as well as many other important tournaments.
Although Muirfield is a links type course, it has an unusual shape. Most links are built along the seashore with a return, resulting in two nine-hole alignments, each aligned in roughly the same direction. By contrast, Muirfield was the first course to deviate from this configuration and to be laid out as two nine-hole loops, the first playing clockwise, the second counter-clockwise. As a result, with constant wind direction during a course, each hole will be subject to a different wind direction at the tee. At any point of the course it is not possible to find more than three holes having the same general direction.