Kylie Walker off to good start at LPGA Tour Q School

Kylie Walker made a promising start in her bid to join Catriona Matthew on the LPGA Tour next season by breaking par in the opening round of the circuit’s Qualifying School at Daytona Beach in Florida.

Kylie Walker opened with a two-under-par 70 in Daytona Beach, Florida Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Kylie Walker opened with a two-under-par 70 in Daytona Beach, Florida Picture: Phil Wilkinson

The two-times LET winner from Glasgow posted a two-under 70 on the Jones Course at LPGA International to sit handily placed in the clubhouse in the early stages of the five-round marathon.

Starting at the tenth, Walker dropped a shot at her second hole but was flawless thereafter and picked up birdies at the 16th, fourth and fifth in signing for halves of 36-34.

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The 29-year-old finished the day sitting joint-18th overall, five shots behind Americans Simin Feng and Christine Song after they shot matching 65s on the same course.

Walker’s compatriot, Sally Watson, had a rollercoaster round as she opened with a level-par 72, which was also carded on the Jones Course.

Starting at the first, the Elie-based player was two-under after eight before running up a double-bogey 7 at the ninth.

Coming home, Watson bagged three birdies but also had three bogeys in with them, her card consisting of halves of 36-36.

Aberdeen’s Gemma Dryburgh, the third Scot in the field and also in action on the Jones layout, dropped a shot at her last hole - the ninth - for a one-over 73.

South Korean Julie Yang, who was a pupil at Loretto School in Musselburgh when she won the Scottish Schoolgirls’ title in 2010, posted the best first-day score on the Hills Course with a six-under-par 66.

Matthew, Scotland’s long-time flag-bearer on the LPGA Tour, is in Japan this week to represent the LET in a new team event, The Queens. The North Berwick woman has been paired with France’s Karine Icher - a winning partnership at this year’s Solheim Cup in Germany - for tomorrow’s opening fourballs at Miyoshi Country Club in Aichi.

Closer to home, Craig Lawrie, Paul’s oldest son, won the North-East Alliance event at Buckpool with a three-under 67 while a 65 from Graeme Brown (Montrose Links) saw him come out on top in the Midland Alliance at Anstruther.