Kylie Henry off to flying start in China

Kylie Henry opened with a four-under 69 in the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Kylie Henry opened with a four-under 69 in the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

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Kylie Henry set a personal putting record as the two-time LET winner got off to a promising start in the World Ladies Championship in China.

The Scot required just 24 putts as she carded a four-under-par 69 at Mission Hills on Hainan Island to sit joint-fourth, two shots behind leader Georgina Hall.

Henry, playing under her married name - she tied the knot at the end of last year with European Tour player Scott Henry - after landing her two triumphs as Walker, signed for seven birdies, including three in a row from the fifth.

“I’m really happy with that because I started on 10 and I was level par for the back nine and then four-under on my last nine holes,” she said.

“It’s a good score. I just putted really solidly today and had 24 putts, which is a record for me.”

The effort left her alongside a Korean quartet of So Yeon Park, Seon Woo Bae, Jin Joo Hong and Ji Hyun Lee.

Hall was also on fire on the greens as the 20-year-old English player set the pace with a six-under-par 67 in warm and breezy conditions.

“I played faultless all the way around apart from on the last hole. I think I lost a bit of concentration,” said the leasder.

“I putted amazingly, it was one of the best putting rounds I have ever had and I didn’t really do anything wrong, so I am very happy with my first round.”

Vikki Laing, who celebrated her 36th birthday earlier in the week, was next best among the Scots with a level-par 73 to sit joint-29th.

It was a tough day, meanwhile, for Kelsey Macdonald and Pamela Pretswell as they had to settle for 78 and 79 respectively.

In her first outing of the 2017 campaign, Pretswell had two double-bogeys on her card - at the ninth and 17th holes.

Elsewhere, South African James Kingston will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Sharjah Senior Masters in the United Arab Emirates.

A second-round 66, which came on the back of an opening 68, lifted Kingston to 10-under-par, just ahead of his compatriot Chris Williams (70) as well as Englishman Gary Marks (68).

Kingston, who is bidding to land his first Seniors success, said: “I’d like to get the first one under my belt, but you don’t just pitch up at a golf course and win.

“You have to put the numbers on the scoreboard. There is a lot of golf to play before you can walk away with a trophy.”

Gordon Brand Jnr is sitting joint-12th on four-under, five shots better than Ross Drummond, the only other Scot in the field.

The event is the first on either the European Tour, Senior Tour or Challenge Tour to be played on a nine-holec course, the one in question being Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club.

On the Asian Development Tour, James Byrne retained a share of second spot in the weather-hit PGM Northpoint Championship in Malaysia.

The Banchory man backed up an opening 65 with a 69 for a 10-under-par total at Glenmarie Golf & Country Club, where he’s sitting alongside England’s Steve Lewton.

The only problem for the pair is that they are eight shots behind Malaysia’s Ben Leong after he carded a second-round 62, having already opened the event with a 64.

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