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AIG Women’s Open: The sisterhood of the travelling pants saves suitcase-less Jessica Korda at Muirfield

Hinako Shibuno , the 2019 champion, leads after the first round.

Jessica Korda has spent the week at the AIG Women’s Open in the wrong trousers, but the elder of the Korda sisters isn’t concerned about style other than that required to play links golf.

The 29-year-old has been a victim of Europe’s airport luggage crisis, her bag containing all her clothes stranded in Zurich Airport.

Yet with an outfit cobbled together from spares from friends, the pro shop and those items in her mercifully delivered golfbag with clubs, she put together a five-under 66 to lie one behind Japan’s Hinako Shibuno.

“Monday I wore Megan Khang’s pants,” she said. “Tuesday, I wore my sister’s pants and Wednesday I wore Alison Lee’s pants. And today I’m wearing FootJoy pants.

“My clothes are the big thing. Other than that, sponsor’s hats. I’m wearing a Muirfield hat right now.

“And a lot of my warm stuff. My hand warmers, my hands get really cold so I wear gloves all the time.

“That, and I’ve got a lot of heat patches for my lower back and my vitamins, and I don’t have that.”

But there was nothing else to do that knuckle down, she added.

“I gave up on (getting the bag in time) by Wednesday. If it comes here, great, but if not, it is what it is. Now I’m playing a golf tournament.

“FootJoy sent me a bunch of clothes and we’ll just try to figure it out from there.”

Jessica was in the early half – and clearly the better one in terms of conditions. Only Min Jee Kim and Celine Boutier really appeared high on the leaderboard in the afternoon wave, with three-under 68s.

For leader Shibuno, it’s good memories of three years ago when she came from nowhere to win at Woburn when she was just 20.

“I was looking at the leaderboards, and remembering that,” she said. “It’s rare to be in a position like this. It takes me back (to 2019), it really feels like then.”

The difference is Muirfield is totally alien to her game when Woburn was reminiscent of the Japanese parkland courses she grew up on.

“Two years ago when we were playing at Royal Troon, the wind completely over took my shots,” she said. “I didn’t think about how to use the wind to my advantage.

“However this tournament I could adapt my style to the elements. I imagined my swing, if the wind was coming from the right I could play by feel, how far from the pin I needed to aim for.

“Really, I was hoping that I can be a friend with the wind this time.”

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