Sandra Gal, from Germany holds the first round lead at the CME Group Titleholders event at Tiburón Golf Club, in Naples, Florida, following her super opening effort of 64, equaling the course record.
Sandra Gal / Getty
Sandra opened the CME Group Titleholders event in Florida with a -8 under par round of 64, to top the leaderboard. Sandra started the round on the back nine with six birdies in a row , she said she wanted to be aggressive;
“Well, I thought this tournament was a little different than the other ones, so I thought I’m just going to be really aggressive and just go for everything because really all you want to do is win here. Any other place it doesn’t really matter that much. So that’s kind of the mindset I had and I think that really helped me and I just kept rolling in putts. Started with six in a row, so that was kind of fun.”
Canadian Rebecca Lee-Bentham is just one shot behind after her first round -7 under par 65, and reported she will keep on doing what works for her;
“I guess just continue doing what I’m doing, it’s very easy to over think it. If I just play like I did today, I’d be fine. I don’t have too many expectations, just to go out and have fun. And I’m glad I’m playing hopefully with Sandra because she’s a really, really nice player.I played with her at the Evian and she’s just such a sweet girl. I actually was thinking about it, I was like if I make this putt, I might be able to play with her, so yeah. To be honest, like these past couple weeks I haven’t been hitting it too well. This morning I was kind of in a panic mode, like I didn’t think this round was actually going to be this good. I feel like the day just went my way, ended up hitting it fine, ball went wherever I wanted it to and my putting was on today so that made all the difference.”
There are three players tied in third spot, Anna Nordqvist, Shanshan Feng and last weeks winner Lexi Thompson, all on -6 under par.
Anna has been in contention this year without winning, in fact her winless drought goes back five years;
“I feel I’ve been playing pretty solid golf probably since the U.S. Open this year, just haven’t really got any results going, so it’s been a little bit disappointing. I just try to keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully it will pay off. Had a pretty good go in Korea, didn’t finish very good the last couple holes. I feel like I’m doing a lot of good stuff, just haven’t really, maybe had one or two so‑so rounds in those other tournaments. Out here the competition is really tough and you’ve got to have four solid ones, so I’m just missing that last one.”
Sounds like Lexi has the entire Thompson family coming to cheer her on;
“My mom, my dad, my dad’s parents, my mom’s mom, my mom’s brother, Nick’s actually coming in tomorrow. And I have my agents here, and I have a few; my godparents are coming in and a few members from my golf course are coming in. We read a lot of good putts today, we were off on a few, but he is a great green reader. Giving me the confidence over the shots when I say I’m going to hit this shot, hit a little draw in, he was like yeah, that’s perfect. That’s really all you need out there is that little confidence boost going into a shot.”
New professional Lydia Ko said she just played her normal game, recording a -1 under par 71 in her first event as one of the Pro’s;
” Just normal, it didn’t feel too odd or special or slow or whatever today. That actually surprised me, I thought I would be much more nervous. And actually one of the good things was I actually wasn’t thinking about any money or related stuff, I just tried to play my game, which was obviously very helpful.”