Early pace-setter Florentyna Parker
Florentyna Parker set a blistering pace in the desert sun as she opened with five birdies in seven holes on the first morning of the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters.
The Hamburg-based 21-year-old was red-hot as she birdied the long 10th hole and then followed with a birdie two on the short 11th.
She picked up another shot at the par-five 13th and then made an impressive par save on the 14th after hitting her tee shot right and then playing a fantastic recovery shot.
‘Flory’, who claimed her maiden victory at the ABN AMRO Ladies Open in the Netherlands in June, then rolled in a straight five foot birdie putt at the par-three 15th and added her fifth birdie on the par-four 16th after nailing a downhill putt from 12 feet.
She played the back nine in five-under 32 and kept the momentum going with four steady pars on the front nine.
At five under after 13, she was two strokes clear of Melissa Reid and Michelle Wie, who are playing together in the group ahead and were both three-under after 14. Wie, who finished second at the 2009 event, eagled the third to give her title challenge a boost. Felicity Johnson was three under but dropped a shot on the 15th hole to join Tania Elosegui, Lorie Kane, Julie Greciet and amateur Carlota Ciganda on two under.
Lee-Anne Pace, poised to top the Henderson Money List this week, started slowly and was one-over after 13. Her score included a double bogey on the 14th after she hit her second shot into the front greenside bunker and three putted from range for a six.
Laura Davies, the only player who could steal the Henderson Money List title this week, begins her first round at 11.50am from the first hole and she has not played one round over par on the Majlis course in three appearances in Dubai. Her best round was a 67 and her worst a level-par 72.
Parker, who represents England, has recorded six top ten finishes in this, her second season on the Ladies European Tour. She tied for 27th in Dubai last year.
She hopes to get back into the top 10 on the Henderson Money List this week after slipping back to 11th position. She has been practising in the United Arab Emirates for a couple of weeks now at The Abu Dhabi Golf Club where she attended the Abu Dhabi Junior Golf Championship in association with The Daily Telegraph and also at Al Badia Golf Club in Dubai where her cousin Matthew Parker is the club professional. Parker’s father Tim is also a pro and her coach. He and her mother Gina, along with her brother Ben Parker, who plays on the Challenge Tour, were supporting behind the ropes.
Parker’s career best round was a six-under 66, which she scored in the second round of the ABN AMRO Ladies Open. She is among the professionals trying to beat the course record of eight under par 64 set by Sweden’s Louise Stahle in 2007.