Date: February 14, 2014
Author: Martin Blake / www.golf.org.au

Explosive Hedwall vaults to lead

Caroline Hedwall did not even see the hole in one that vaulted her into the lead at the ISPS Handa Women&aposs Australian Open at Victoria today. The par-three 16th hole has a green that is elevated much higher than the tee box, and usually, players would rely upon crowd reaction to get a feel for how good their shot has been. In this case, there was complete silence. “Yesterday I hit a full seven-iron over the green and it was basically the same yardage today, so I hit a soft one and it covered the pin all the way and then I just saw it bounce once and hit the pin. But I didn&apost see it go in,&apos&apos the Swede said. “I think the crowd up there, they didn&apost want to yell because Laura (Davies) or someone was hitting off number 17, so we walked up there and they were like, &aposit went in&apos. I was like, &aposoh, nice&apos. It wasn&apost really the feeling when you see it go in, but it&aposs always nice.&apos&apos It was her fourth career hole-in-one and it came as part of a rip-roaring round of 65 that, tied to her her opening 68, put her into the lead in the Open. She leads by two from Australia&aposs brilliant amateur Minjee Lee (67 today) but first-round leader Suzann Pettersen is looming, having hit off at 1pm today. Headwall is no stranger to where she is today. At the Solheim Cup teams contest between Europe and the United States she has proven to be the star player for Europe, going unbeaten last year in a first for any player. She is ranked 23rd in the world with a bullet next to her name. She hits it hard and long. “I mean, I&aposve always been swinging it hard. I grew up with a twin sister (Jacqueline) and we were competing against each other hitting it the furthest on the driving range, so I guess it comes from that and I&aposve always been very explosive, which I see as a great talent. I try to use that and I do hit it really hard.&apos&apos Her score card told the story of the way she plays. It included the ace at the 16th, an eagle at the par-five eighth, five birdies and two bogeys, a huge splash of color. It&aposs her style. “I&aposd definitely rather be a person that can shoot really low and make a lot of birdies, I mean, that&aposs what&aposs fun! I don&apost mind making a bogey here and there if I make lots of birdies.&apos&apos Hedwall, 24, has won eight times around the world but never on the LPGA Tour. She won the New South Wales Open on her professional debut in 2011, and she loves the environment, though not the flies. “You guys have great golf courses down here and the people are so relaxed and so welcoming, nice weather. I think everything is great down here. It is absolutely one of my favourite stops.&apos&apos