Golf: Katy McNicoll leads Scottish challenge

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Carnoustie’s Katy McNicoll upstaged her more experienced Scottish colleagues in the field to make a promising start in the South African Women’s Open at Southbroom Golf Club on the Hibiscus Coast.

Bidding to bounce back from missing the cut in last month’s Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco, the 24-year-old carded a level-par 72 to sit in a tie for 16th at the end of the opening round.

McNicoll, who had a spell at Lynn University in Boca Raton before turning professional towards the end of 2009, offset two bogeys with two birdies in a steady round.

She is just three shots behind the leader, Norway’s Marianne Skarpnord, with Kylie Walker a further stroke adrift after her 73, which was a mixed bag containing six birdies, two double-bogeys and three bogeys.

Pamela Pretswell, who was unable to record a birdie in her 75, is tied for 56th while Carly Booth is sitting below the cut line after a 76.