Sophie Walker


Walker, a two-time Daily Telegraph Junior Champion, fired four birdies in a row from the tenth hole to move to six-under and then sank a 12 foot putt at the 18th to draw level with the local favourite.

“I was at level par and I saw Brew at seven under and said I can’t let her beat me by ten,” said the England player, who is competing in her first professional tournament.

“I just want to get a bit of professional experience before I go to Tour School at the end of the year and I’ll probably turn professional just before then, although this is probably enough to make you want to turn pro.”

Walker narrowly missed out on her card at LET Qualifying School for the 2006 season but if she wins this week she will earn full playing privileges for the next three years: incentive enough to play well this week.

Brewerton, who had two runners-up finishes on the Ladies European Tour as an amateur in 2003 and has come close to her first win as a professional on several occasions over the last three years, had a dream start with seven birdies and no bogeys.

Laura Davies

Davies, the most high profile player in the field and just one shot behind the leader, said: “I played well today and I only missed one green. My only bogey came from a three putt on 12. Six under was about the worst I could have shot.”

Alfredsson, who won the event in 2001 at Porthcawl, said: “I started well, then lost it and I came back strongly on the last few holes. I finished with four birdies in the last five holes so that was a nice way to finish.”

The 17-year-old Yorkshire based player, Kiran Matharu, had a solid 70 in her first round as a professional. She carded three birdies, three bogeys and an eagle at the par-five 13th.

Hole-in-one

Spain’s Carmen Alonso, the longest hitter on the Ladies European Tour, fired a hole-in-one at the 166-yard 11th hole with an eight-iron in the first round of the Wales Ladies Championship of Europe, which was the same hole Jehanne Jail of France aced in the second round last year. The 22-year-old from the town of Valladolid has now had six hole-in-ones in total but it was her first as a professional.
“This one was the best because it was in a professional tournament,” she said. “I don’t like links golf though. We only play on links style courses three times a year and it’s very hard!”
Alonso carded a first round 68, to finish on four-under-par, just three shots off the lead.