On October 21, Beijing time, Liu Yan caught a birdie in the last hole of the Beijing Oriental Pearl Country Club. She was so happy that she felt like she had shot a 63.
In fact, she only shot 71.
But she has reason to be happy. She not only got back a bad start and shot a negative shot, but also led the first round of the Beijing Pearl Challenge with Liu Wenbo.
This is the highest lead in the first round since the Pearl of the Orient held its first women's event in 2008.
In 2008, Yang Hongmei and Shang Linyan shot 70 in the first round, tied for the lead, the previous record.
Pearl of the Orient often makes low shots. The lowest lead in the first round is 63, which is 9 under par. Thailand's Narisara hit this number in 2017, but she was only 2 shots ahead of Shi Yuting.
In addition, in 2014, South Korea's Zhang Sorong shot 64 in the first round, 8 under par and 2 shots ahead of Jie Nalin.
In the past 12 years, the first round of the Beijing Pearl Challenge led by an average of 67.17. This alone shows how different this year is.
Appendix: Oriental Pearl’s first round lead over the years
Year: Leading score
Another number can also explain the problem. Since 2013, the players who have shot 71 in the first round have not entered the top ten. Among them, they were tied for 29th in 2016, tied for 28th the following year, and tied for 25th last year.
Zhang Jingwen, a 19-year-old girl from Zhengzhou, Henan Province, turned into a professional player in 2018. She was deeply touched by this. Today, she swallowed 3 bogeys and cut 8 feet through the flagpole on the 14th hole. She pushed back and caught the only one. Birdie shot 73, 2 shots above par, and tied for fifth place.
"I was still thinking about this issue when I played the 18th hole. Last year, I hit +3 in the first round, and the result was already far behind (T81)," Zhang Jingwen said, "But this year I hit +2. It’s in the top ten. You know, last year’s promotion line was 2 shots above par."
Although she couldn't judge the performance of others, she explained from her own feelings why it was so difficult this year.
"Today I feel that the ball is not far, and it is not easy to go to the green, so I always save the ball," Zhang Jingwen said. "It may be because the wind is relatively strong and the weather is relatively cold, so everyone shrinks. I usually do. The ball is not crooked, it was crooked today, and it was not on the fairway several times."
Everyone's perception of the competition conditions is different. In any case, the leader Liu Wenbo believes that today is 2 to 3 strokes harder than the practice round, and what she finds particularly difficult to handle is putting. "The last few holes putts often shabu the hole, or wipe the edge of the hole cup, missed a lot of putts," said the Beijing girl.
The bad news is that Beijing will still be cold tomorrow, and there will be smog, maybe it is not easy to fight, everyone has to accept the test of hard fighting.