PAMELA Pretswell endured a difficult opening round on her Ladies European Tour debut, carding a three-over 75 at Royal Pines in Australia. Bad weather had prevented Pretswell, 23, from getting a practice round in beforehand, and the Scot carded five bogeys and managed only two birdies in a tough introduction to the Tour.
Compatriot Carly Booth fared better, however, finishing one-under for the day – five behind leader Alison Walshe, who birdied the 17th hole for an opening-round six-under-par 66.
In second behind the American was Jessica Korda, the daughter of former tennis player Petr Korda, who won last year’s Women’s Australian Open at Royal Melbourne in a play-off for her first US LPGA Tour victory. Spain’s Belen Mozo, Australia’s Stacy Keating, American Dori Carter and Thailand’s Nontaya Srisawang were two strokes behind with 68s.
Walshe was born in Ireland but moved to the United States when she was three. She is in her third year on the US Tour.
“I guess it was luck of the draw being late but it was all right,” Walshe said of her afternoon start when the course had dried out after heavy rains. “I was up early because of the jet lag, so I had some coffee and went to the gym, and then I got here, had some lunch and warmed up. It wasn’t too bad actually.”
Seven-times champion Karrie Webb was in a large group on 70, four strokes behind, in the season-opening event of the Ladies European Tour and Australian circuit. Cheyenne Woods, Tiger Woods’ niece, shot 74.
The European and Australian tours will team up again next week for the New Zealand Women’s Open in Christchurch.