JENNIFER  ROSALES  UPBEAT  IN  RUN-UP  TO  BRITISH  OPEN

MANILA,  July 28, 2004
 
(STAR)
With her injured wrist almost healed and her trusted clubs back in her possession, Jennifer Rosales is all set to compete in this week’s Weetabix Women’s British Open in England where she is expected to pour it all after her aborted stint in last week’s Evian Masters in France.

Upon arriving at the Sunningdale Golf Club’s range in Berkshire, London, the site of the four-day tournament firing off Thursday (Friday in Manila), Rosales, a PLDT Global endorser, hurriedly thumped balls at varied distances while checking on her bandaged right wrist in between shots under the watch of swing coach Bong Lopez.

"Wala na ang maga sa wrist niya pero naka-bandaged pa rin," said Lopez. "Medyo easy-easy lang ang palo but she’s feeling better now."

In fact, she is slated to play in the pro-am Wednesday and is set to tee-off in the tournament proper with veteran Laura Davis and Sherie Steinhauer at 12:35 p.m.

They found and claimed Rosales’ set of clubs at the Heathrow airport in England Monday, which was lost in transit from the US to France last week, forcing the ace Filipina shotmaker to play with borrowed tools from her friends on the tour, including Steinhauer and Pat Hurst.

But after shooting an even-par round after 9 holes, Rosales re-injured her wrist when she hit a solid object while trying to blast her way out of the bunker on the 10th fairway of the Evian layout. She went on, bogeyed two of the next four holes before the tournament’s medic stepped in and told her to discontinue play.

That was the second withdrawal by Rosales in a fine season that saw her score a breakthrough win in the Chick-Fil-A Championship in Georgia, Atlanta last May. In her first tournament this year, she also quit, again citing wrist injury, in the Welch’s/Fry Championship in Arizona in March after carding a 75 in the first round.

"Basta huwag lang mamaga uli," said Lopez. "Pag naka-bandaged naman hindi masyado sumasakit pagtama ng clubhead sa bola."

What could hamper Rosales’ bid against the best players in the world is her lack of competitive golf, this being her first big tournament in three weeks after taking a break after the US Women’s Open two weeks ago where she settled for fourth after leading the stellar field in the third round.

But Lopez is confident of his ward’s chances in the tournament even as he indicated that Rosales’ three-week rest all the more makes the five-time RP Ladies Open champion hungrier for recognition particularly after that US Open final round foldup.

Rosales also led the British Open after three rounds two years ago, but failed to endure the final round pressure and settled for fourth. — Dante Navarro


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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