(Drottningholm, August 7 2003) Spain’s Raquel Carriedo marked her return to the Ladies European Tour with a faultless six under par 66 to lead after the first round of the £325,000 HP Open at Drottningholm GC in Stockholm.

Sophie – in full flow with 67

The Welsh number one and two respectively were once joined as International team mates, but now, they are at opposite ends of career paths, with Morgan on the verge of a Solheim Cup place and Pilgrim striving hard to recover from a tendonitis injury and retain her Tour card for next season.

Carriedo, a two-time Solheim Cup player for Europe, has earned only $22,150 in 14 starts on the LPGA, missing nine cuts and she readily admits that it is highly unlikely she will make the Solheim Cup team. Basically, 2003 has been her “Annus Horribilis’.

“I haven’t been looking at The Solheim Cup this year,” she added. “My mind has not been on it at all. I’ve not played very well, my confidence has been low and I honestly don’t think I will make the team.

“I want to forget this year now. I am glad that I’ve done something special today to get my confidence back.”

Even as a former European number one and Solheim Cup player, Carriedo cites a lack of respect from officials on the LPGA Tour, where competition is tough to get on Tour and made more difficult for her with awkward tee times and a lack of practice rounds because of the Pro-Ams at each event put a limit on how much preparation she can do.

“Maybe, maybe I haven’t had any respect,” said Carriedo, who has four European wins to her credit.

“But they don’t think like that. Unless you are someone really special or American, you don’t get any preferential treatment, so it’s been tough.

Annika – Lurking

Arruti, who had to pull out of Wednesday’s Pro Am as her back was cracking, visited the Tour masseuse earlier in the day. Once strapped up, the Spaniard took things “nice and slowly” to chase her first title since the 1999 Austrian Open.

“I was thinking of pulling out this morning,” said the Spaniard. “I’m glad I didn’t now. I hit it really good all day, I had 31 putts, hit all 18 greens in regulation and only missed three fairways.”