Suzann Pettersen has started well in her quest to retain her World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills in China.
Defending Champion Suzann Pettersen / Getty
Suzann opened the tournament with a -6 under-par 67 on the Blackstone Course at the Mission Hills Resort in the defense of her title. She Eagled the par five second hole and picked up three more birdies on the other par fives;
“I played a lot of good golf today and felt like I had a lot of great chances. I feel like you’ve really got to take advantage of the par fives out here. You only have some mid irons into some of them and I had one eagle, should have had two. I missed a very short eagle putt on six, so overall it was a pretty solid start.”
She also revealed some details of the man behind the ropes who had been following her and encouraging her all day long;
“He’s my boyfriend, we’re both Norwegian, we’re the same age and from the same town. We met through common friends. He’s an ex-skier who used to ski when he was younger. He has a great understanding of the lifestyle we live and the sacrifices we make and really respects our hours on the golf course so it’s very helpful and great to have someone you can share what you do with.”
Just one behind at -5 under par is World No.1 amateur Minjee Lee, who shares second place with Ye Na Chung.
Minjee was very happy to have played alongside Inbee Park, the World number one;
“It feels good to be up there but it’s only the first round so anything can happen. I’m in a good position and I don’t feel like I’m out of place. I feel like I can play with the pros and it was pretty cool playing with Inbee.”
Tied in third place are Trish Johnson, Valentine Derrey, Gwladys Nocera and Inbee Park, all at -4 under par.
Gwladys also enjoyed being in contention;
“Anything on top of the leader board is good and I feel really good about shooting that score today on the first round.”