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RICOH Women’s British Open – Third-Round Notes and Interviews

Posted by on Jul 30th, 2011 and filed under Golf. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

RICOH Women’s British Open
Carnoustie Golf Links
Carnoustie, Scotland
July 30, 2011
Third-round notes and interviews

Caroline Masson -15, Rolex Rankings No. 141
Yani Tseng -13, Rolex Rankings No. 1
Catriona Matthew -9, Rolex Rankings No. 35

Second-round leader Caroline Masson of Germany holds a two-stroke lead over Rolex Rankings No. 1 and defending champion Yani Tseng entering the final round of the 2011 RICOH Women’s British Open. Masson’s 15-under-par total of 201 is the lowest 54-hole score at the Women’s British Open since the event became a major in 2001.

Masson shot a 4-under 68 in Saturday’s third round but admitted to having a few butterflies at the beginning of her round, which was showcased by a wayward drive on No. 1 where she three-putted for bogey. Following her bogey on the opening hole, Masson displayed nerves of steel while playing in the final pairing. She had six birdies and got her score to 16-under-par before a bogey on the 18th hole cut her lead to two over Tseng heading into Sunday’s final round.

“I was quite nervous at the beginning, but I calmed down,” Masson said of her round Saturday. “It’s really, really good, of course, [to be leading] but I can’t really believe it. I’m just trying to enjoy every moment and just realize what’s happening. Yeah, it’s a strange feeling right now.”

Masson, who is a member of the Ladies European Tour (LET), played one year on the women’s golf team at Oklahoma State University and was a teammate of fellow LET member Caroline Hedwall. She has played in 10 events on the LET this season with her best finish coming at the Lalla Meryem Cup where she recorded her first career runner-up finish. Masson was 26th on the LET’s Order of Merit during her rookie season in 2010.

The 22-year-old is a native of Gladbeck, Germany, which is not far from Dusseldorf. Her father, Stefan, is a tennis coach in Germany and Masson grew up playing that sport as well as golf. Masson has worked with swing coach, Guenter Kessler, for around 10 or 11 years. Kessler is also the swing coach for fellow German golf professional Martin Kaymer.

Masson met with Kessler two weeks before the RICOH Women’s British Open and they worked on prepping her for links golf. Kessler shared some of the information with Masson that Kaymer had told him about playing in the British Open.

“He said that you really have to like links golf and accept whatever comes, whatever conditions you have, and I think that helped me quite a lot,” Masson said after Friday’s second round.

Masson is trying to become the third player since the RICOH Women’s British Open became a major in 2001 to make the event her first win. The others were Jeong Jang (2005, Royal Birkdale) and Jiyai Shin (2008, Sunningdale). Masson would also join Shin as a player who won the event as a non-member of the LPGA Tour.

Newfound territory: Masson has never led entering the final round of an LET event, let alone a major championship, and her name was unfamiliar to many of the golfers in the field before this week.

“I just asked my caddie, ‘Who’s that?’ said Tseng. “I’ve never seen her play before. I’ve never played with her. But I’m very excited for tomorrow to go out in the last group.”

Masson, who plays at the same home course in Germany as LPGA Tour member Sandra Gal, is excited about the opportunity to be paired with Tseng for the final round – especially since her goal at the b

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