Kylie Henry off to promising start in LET's season-ending event in Spain

Kylie Henry finished the day as leading Scot ahead of Michele Thomson after contrasting finishes in the opening round of the LET’s season-ending Andalucia Costa Del Sol Open De Espana.

Kylie Henry
Kylie Henry

On a course at Alferini Golf described as “fiddly” by compatriot Laura Beveridge, Henry carded a three-under-par 70 to sit handily-placed in joint-16th as England’s Cara Grainer set the pace with a 66.

Henry, a two-time tour winner, started her round at the 11th and birdied both that and the 17th, another par 5, before running up a double-bogey 6 at the 295-yard fourth.

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However, she then birdied three of the next four holes before finishing with a par to get off to a promising start at the Benahavis venue.

Michele Thomson, pictured during her opening round, was four-under for the day before taking a double-bogey at the par-5 17th at Alferini Golf. Picture: Tristan Jones.
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Henry, who tied for fifth in the Aramco Team Series in New York in October, came into the event sitting 53rd in the Costa del Sol Rankings.

However, a strong end to the campaign could see her jump above both Beveridge and Thomson, who are currently 31st and 34th respectively, in the final standings.

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Thomson, who started at the first, was four-under with two holes to play, having birdied third, eighth, 11th, 12th, 15th and 16th, before running up a double-bogey 7 at the 17th.

She sits joint-24th, with Beveridge, who was five-over for the day before finishing with three straight birdies, sharing 59th spot after signing for a 75.

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On a day when Grainer, carded nine birdies, world No 11 Leona Maguire is already lurking ominously after opening with a 68 that was illuminated by an eagle-3 at the eighth.

“It was really solid round,” said the Irish star. “I had a fantastic season on the LPGA. It was nice to finish that off with a second place (behind Lydia Ko in the CME Tour Championship) and hopefully I can finish the year off strong here.”

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Swede Linn Grant, who leads the 2022 Race to Costa del Sol title battle, also opened with a 68 after being two-over following three holes. “I started off a bit nervous and stiff,” said the four-time winner this season. “But I found something and got it going."

However, compatriot Maja Stark, who trails Grant by just 69.77 points in the fight to be No 1, is only a shot behind after an opening salvo that contained six birdies.

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