(Royal Porthcawl, August 12 2004) England’s Laura Davies admitted she is playing the best golf of her life as she stormed into the lead after the first round of the £350,000 Wales ‘Golf as it should be’ Ladies Open at Royal Porthcawl GC.

Jo Head

Beginning at 9.10am, Davies set her stall out and promptly drove the first green – a blow of some 326-yards – and two putted for her first birdie then followed up with another at the second. She also birdied the fourth and fifth holes but she, along with the rest of the competitors, had to retire to the sanctuary of the clubhouse when the elements closed in over Rest Bay at 11am.

Not one to hang around at the clubhouse, Davies drove back to her hotel, dried off after a soaking from the elements, returned in similar fashion and reached five under par with another birdie after drilling a three-iron close at the par five eighth. Davies turned in 31 almost six hours after she began her outing.

Davies also reached the green in one shot at the par four 10th but this time three putted for par and despite another three putt at the 11th, where she dropped her only shot, the 40-year-old from Surrey rallied and finished with further birdies at the 16th and 17th to take the lead.

“I played really well,” admitted Davies. “I had two three putts, but apart from that I drove the ball lovely and after all that rain we had, I was thinking level par would be a score, so to be six under after a day like that, I’m pretty pleased.

“I think I was five under par for greens in regulation and that makes it a bit easier to score when you play like that.”

Davies admitted that she had played through the frustrating times this season and has found her confidence again.

“I am just so confident now, to drive the first and tenth and not looking for where the trouble is shows me I can do it and now that I’m putting well I’m really confident. I think I’m playing the best I’ve ever played in my life and hopefully this will give me another chance to win on Sunday.

“Links golf doesn’t usually suit me, but when you are playing well, you can play anywhere and still score well.”