Sarah Kemp grabbed the clubhouse lead early on day one at the Turkish Airlines Open.
The 25-year-old from Sydney started with a two under par 71 on a sunny morning at National Golf Club in Belek, Antalya, to sit one clear of four other players who had finished for the day.
Kemp played the back nine first, in one over 38 after dropping a shot at the par-five 15th, but she picked up the pace with four birdies and just one other bogey on the front nine.
“It was a really slow start, I bogeyed 15: hit my second shot right and I didn’t get up and down. Then I just holed a few more putts on the front,” she said after her round.
“On the par three second, I hit a seven iron to about three foot; that was really good. I hit my driver right on the next and didn’t get up and down. Hit the par five in two, I only had a 15-footer for eagle and two putted. On seven, I hit seven-iron to about 15 foot and holed the putt; on eight I hit a wedge to about 20 foot and holed that and I got up and down on nine for par.
“I’m very happy. It’s a tough course; you’ve really got to place the ball and there are a lot of three-woods, five-woods off the tee.”
First year rookie Jaclyn Sweeney of the United States reached four under after 13 holes but dropped five shots over her last five holes to finish on one over.
The recent Lalla Meryem Cup champion Zuzana Kamasova, who was one under for much of the round, triple bogeyed the par-four seventh and finished at two over alongside playing partners Sophie Gustafson and Melissa Reid, the 2010 Turkish Airlines Ladies Open champion.
Diana Luna, a three-time tournament winner on the LET, was making a charge in the afternoon after five birdies in her first six holes, starting from the 10th. She has a chance to better Iben Tinning course record five under 68 set in the first round of last year’s event.
The Italian Solheim Cup player is targeting her first victory since the 2009 SAS Masters in Norway, having taken some time out from the game due to the arrival of her first child, Elena, a year ago.