Inbee Park caught the bad end of the draw at St. Andrews in Scotland, made worse by not having her best golf.
Before she can think about a chance to make history as the first golfer to win four professional majors in the same season, Park faced a more immediate concern Friday afternoon in the Women’s British Open — how to make up an 8-shot deficit against Na Yeon Choi.
“I’m so far back,” Park said after a birdie on the final hole to salvage a 1-over 73. “We need some tough conditions.”
The last time there was talk about a Grand Slam in this area of Scotland was 11 years ago, across the Firth of Forth at Muirfield, where Tiger Woods was going for the third leg of the slam. A nasty storm that arrived without warning blew him off course to an 81 in the third round, and that was the end of it.
This wind at St. Andrews was the strongest of the week, though nothing extraordinary.
Na Yeon Choi played four groups behind Park and turned in a command performance, making six birdies for a 5-under 67 that gave her a 1-shot lead over Miki Saiki of Japan going into the weekend. Saiki set the Old Course record for the Women’s British Open with a 66 in the morning, where the only nuisance was a few bursts of showers.
Choi’s 67 was 8.4 shots better than the average score of those who played in the afternoon, and one of only three rounds in the 60s. Conditions were so demanding that when Choi was asked to give details of her six birdies, she couldn’t recall much further back than the 17th hole.
“Five hours out there, this kind of weather, it’s hard to remember,” she said.
Morgan Pressel took another step toward locking up a spot on the Solheim Cup team with a 70 in the morning, leaving her 2 shots out of the lead. She now can think squarely about the Women’s British Open, and perhaps adding a second major to the Kraft Nabisco Championship she won in 2007 as an 18-year-old.
Nicole Castrale, also making a last-ditch effort to make the Solheim Cup team, shot 34 on the tough back nine for a 70 and was in the group at 7-under 137 that included Jee Young Lee and Suzann Pettersen.
Andres Romero birdied his last four holes to take the second-round lead in the Reno-Tahoe Open with 22 points in the modified Stableford scoring format in Reno, Nev., on the edge of the Sierra.
The Argentine player who finished third last year had nine birdies, a bogey and a double bogey on Friday for a one-point lead over Gary Woodland.
The scoring system awards eight points for double eagle, five points for eagle, two for birdie, zero for par, minus-one for bogey and minus-three for double bogey or worse.
Woodland had a chance to take the lead on his last hole when his 90-yard approach glanced off the pin, but missed a 5-foot birdie attempt.
Stuart Appleby, Rod Pampling and former University of Nevada player Charlie Wi were three points back at 19. David Toms had 17.
Mark Wiebe followed his Senior British Open playoff victory with an 8-under 64 in the 3M Championship in Blaine, Minn., to take a 1-stroke lead over Kenny Perry and Corey Pavin.
Four days after beating Bernhard Langer on the fifth extra hole in a Monday finish at Royal Birkdale, Wiebe had eight birdies in a bogey-free first round at TPC Twin Cities.
Wiebe made a 35-foot birdie putt on the fifth hole and a birdie from the off the fringe on No. 7. After those putts, playing partners Nick Price and Jay Haas told Wiebe to “Keep riding that pony.”
Wiebe birdied five of the last seven holes on the front nine and added birdies on Nos. 12, 14 and 16.
Perry birdied the first three holes and five of the first six. He birdied three of four holes midway through his back nine to get to 8 under before three-putting the par-3 17th for a bogey.
Bart Bryant, Peter Senior, Jeff Brehaut, John Riegger and Tom Pernice Jr. shot 66. Riegger eagled two of the par 5s.