Kylie Walker kicked up a desert storm with a strong finish to sit just one shot off the lead after the opening round in the inaugural Qatar Ladies Open.
The 30-year-old signed off with three straight birdies for a four-under-par 68 at Doha Golf Club, where Lydia Hall from Wales and Noora Tamminen of Finland set the pace with matching flawless efforts.
Walker, a two-time LET winner, was one-over at the turn before starting for home with back-to-back birdies then transformed her day with that late burst.
“To finish like that always feels nice,” said the Mar Hall-attached player, who is heading out to Florida straight after this event for the final of the LPGA Qualifying School.
“At the driveable par-4 16th, which was into the wind today, I just got it on to front edge and two-putted. I then hit it close at the 17th, holing seven or eight footer.
“The wind was slightly hurting at the last and I didn’t hit a particularly good wedge in with my third shot but managed to hole a good putt from 15 feet for a birdie.”
Walker, whose boyfriend Scott Henry won his European Tour card in Spain last week, is enjoying the LET’s new end-of-season series of events in the UAE.
“We’ve got two great tournaments to finish, having already had a good one in Abu Dhabi,” she added. “This is the first time this event has been staged and it’s been awesome.
“They’ve put on a great show for us and are really looking after us. It’s great to be finishing the season in the UAE.”
It was a mixed day for the six other Scots in the field. Pamela Pretswell opened with a 72 whille Carly Booth and Laura Murray both signed for 73s.
But Vikki Laing is outside the projected cut after a 76 and so, too, are Kelsey Macdonald (78) Iona Stephen (79).