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L.E.T. Lalla Meryem Cup. Two Tied At the Top, Day 1.

dragon logo darkLalla Meryem Cup There are two Ladies tied at the top of the leaderboard on day 1 of the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco, on the Ladies European Tour.

Rebecca Hudson  / Getty

Rebecca Hudson and Sophie Walker are tied at the top at -5 under par on the opening day at  Golf de l’Ocean in Agadir with totals of 66.

Naturally Rebecca was extremely happy with her round, especially as she practiced in a field at the back of a friend’s house;

“I’m very happy, I hit the ball well. I haven’t done as much practice as I would like but I came out and practised here the last few days. I had the ball under control and putted well and that makes a big difference. Hopefully I can keep this going forward.”

 “It’s great because she’s got a field behind her house so I’ve just been practising my short game. I have been practising but not long game.  I came here and practised my putting. My short game today was very good and I got up and down all but one time.”

                               Sophie Walker / Getty

A good practice round in the wind set up Sophie nicely for the day;

“Yesterday I had an afternoon practice round and I thought that would be good preparation because it always gets really windy here. I holed a decent putt on eleven and knocked it really close. Two under after three, you’ve got to take advantage of that.”

“It was a couple of clubs wind and on the back nine it was a cross wind a lot. I played well last week but just didn’t putt very well, so the aim this week was to putt better and I did that today. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and try to keep my percentage of fairways up and my putts low.”

Sophie Giquel-Bettan is in third place at -4 under after her opening round of 67, she said the jet lag from the flight helped her on her early tee time;

“I really enjoyed it. With the jet lag from China it was perfect to play early this morning because I was awake so early. It was pretty good. We had perfect conditions, like 20, 24 degrees and the wind picked up around the fourteenth hole, but it was good conditions and I did the job and it was fun.”

Ariya Jutanugarn, Jing Yan, Nina Holleder, Charley Hull and Laura Davies have a share of fourth place, all at -3 under par on the tightly packed scoreboard.

Ariya reported that her driver was not behaving properly;

“My putting and irons were good today and helped me a lot but my driver was so bad. I hit like six provisional balls today and had a lost ball and had a seven because of my driver. I couldn’t hit it straight so I had to change my mind and hit three-wood” 

Charley had eye trouble and did not putt too well;

“It was good and I hit it pretty well, apart from one drive, I could have been a lot under par, but the putts didn’t go in. I missed a few short putts to begin with but I learned from that and had four birdies on the trot where I should have had six. I could have shot a lot lower.”

“It’s a great golf course. It’s quite tight off the tee so you need to be hitting it straight. I woke up this morning and my eye was swollen and I think I must have been bitten at night. I thought I would be playing with one eye but it wasn’t too bad. I could see more out of my right eye than my left so people at home will probably think, ‘What’s the matter with her eye?’ It’s gone down a bit now though.”

Looks like an interesting tournament developing here in Morocco.

China Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open. Gwladys Nocera Wins

China Suzhou Taihu Open *

Gwladys Nocera won the China Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open at the Suzhou Taihu International Golf Club.

Gwladys Nocera / Getty

Gwladys had a final round -7 under par 65. to win the Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open by two shots with total of -15 under par for the tournament. Gwladys said the win made amends for the huge disappointment of 2009, when she finished second, a stroke behind Korea’s Bo Mi Suh, after being penalised two strokes for reporting late to the tee;

” I finished second with a stroke penalty so I didn’t feel like I deserved it and I knew I had revenge to take. It took me a while but I have my revenge and it’s nice,”

In case you are wondering about the Chinese costume, Gwladys was dressed up for the presentation, and was carried on a chariot by four men in warrior costume;

Wow! That was great and innovative, arriving for prize presentation on a chariot. It was pretty fun. I played really well today and made all the putts I had. I just three putted 10, but I couldn’t play any better, I don’t think. It’s really nice, I’ve been struggling for many years with my putting and it’s coming back. It’s a really good feeling. I didn’t have any expectations. I told myself, ‘You’re here to play golf and you’re playing good, so just play golf. It doesn’t matter what it’s for, just play.’ I had three good putts at the end to make birdies on 16, 17 and 18 so I think I was really relaxed and I really like the greens. They are really good here and it’s pleasant to putt on them.”

In second place was Carlota Ciganda, a last round of -4 under par 68, to give her a final total of -13 under par. Carlota missed a few short putts, and blamed those mistakes for losing momentum;

“I was making putts, hitting the ball very solid and then on the back nine, I three putted on 10 and missed a few short putts. I think that’s where I lost the tournament. I’m happy, at least I’m in the top three, that it where you want to be, but only one player can win and I played with Gwladys the first two days. She has been playing great golf and I’m happy for her. She’s a great player and a great person too.”

Chinese amateur player Jing Yan secured third place on her own with a final round of -5 under par 67, and a -12 under par total. She said she had played well, with the exception of the last few holes;

“Today was a pretty good day for me, especially for 15 holes, because I had seven birdies and two bogeys. The putting was pretty good. I didn’t feel like I was on my game before the round, so I felt nervous going into it but I sank the first putt and that gave me confidence. My irons were going well today but on 15 I chipped it to three feet and read too much break into it and had too much speed so it lipped out. I didn’t make the birdie putts on 16 and 17. On 18 I ran into a bit of trouble on my drive and then hit it to the right so not so good from there. I’m pretty satisfied except for the last few holes. I felt like I could have given it a bit more from that position. This is my first time with a top ten in the LET so in that position I was urging myself to do a bit more but sometimes couldn’t really stay in the present and missed the opportunities.”

Australian Amateur Championships,

The 2013 Australian Amateur Championships,  presented by Audi are underway in fine and sunny conditions in Melbourne at the Commonwealth and Woodlands Golf Clubs. All players will play 36 holes Stroke Play qualifying across both courses on Tuesday and Wednesday before moving to Commonwealth for knock out Match Play from Thursday to Sunday.

On the Womens side, Australian  Minjee Lee leads after an opening round -5 under par 68  at the Woodlands Golf Club. Minjee is  a former runner-up at the Championships, and she leads qualifying by one stroke from New Zealander and World Number 1 amateur Lydia Ko and another Aussie,  Tatiana Wijaya who both shot -4 under par rounds of 69.

Victorian Grace Lennon and Kiwi Munchin Keh are tied fourth at 3-under par, with Western Australia’s Hannah Green, China’s Jing Yan and Japan’s Asuka Kashiwabara tied in sixth place after -2 under rounds of par 71.

The second round of qualifying is be contested on Wednesday.

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