Sophie Giquel-Bettan leads after the 1st round at the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters in a heat wave at Buckinghamshire Golf Club in England.
Sophie, from France, shot a 1st round -6 under par 66, to take a one shot lead at the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters, and was happy that the scorching temperatures in the Pro-Am yesterday had eased back for the opening round today;
“It was a great day, yesterday I played the Pro-Am and it was 36 degrees, (97F). It was so hot and this morning it was 20, 22 (72F) with just a little breeze, so perfect conditions.
Sitting one shot behind the leader at -5 under par are South African Ashleigh Simon, Italian Sophie Sandolo, Swede Josephine Janson and Nontaya Srisawang from Thailand.
Ashleigh was happy with her putting, and her Eagle;
“I got off to a nice steady start and birdied my third hole of the day. I eagled the par 5 14th after I holed a nice bomb from the back of the green and gave myself some nice chances coming in and birdied 17 and made a good par on 18.”
“All of the par fives are pretty much reachable so if you play those well you can be four under. It was a steady start.”
Nontaya was happy with the run on the ball in fairway due to the very dry conditions;
“The condition of the course is really dry and we can get distance on the tee shot so you can hit onto the greens with short irons and if you make a putt then you will make a good score.”
“The conditions today were not really hard, not really windy.”
The first English ladies on the leaderboard are Charley Hull and Trish Johnson, they are part of a large group two strokes off the pace, at -4 under par.
Charley putted well, but was concerned about incorrect club selection, but overall was happy with her round;
“I’m happy because I putted pretty well today. I just kept coming up short with my irons. I struck it well but kept miss-clubbing myself.”
“I feel like I’m so used to my American distances that now when I’m in a tournament I keep thinking I’m going to hit them a bit further but I don’t.”
“Although I’ve been in England for two weeks we’ve just been mucking around with my friends, so I’ve hit some massive fades, but I’m pretty happy with the way I’m playing.”
A persistent back injury has hampered Trish of late, but she feels better now, and has received some benefiting coaching;
“I had a lesson a couple of days ago with Stuart Brewer, the father of Ben Brewer, who caddied for me in Holland.”
“There was some stuff that I really needed help with.”