Ice cool Dane Nanna Koerstz Madsen (above) made a hot start in the opening round of the Tipsport Golf Masters, played in rainy conditions at Golf Park Pilsen in the Czech Republic on Friday morning.

Madsen birdied the par-four 12th, eagled the uphill par-5 14th and then birdied the short 15th to establish a two stroke lead over long-time national rival Emily Kristine Pedersen, who played the back nine in two-under-par, before adding a birdie on the first hole. Australian Stacey Keating then joined Madsen in the lead on four-under after six holes.

The young Danish pair are battling for a place in the Olympic Games this week as it’s the last LET tournament before the qualification deadline of July 11, after the US Women’s Open at CordeValle.

Madsen has the edge over Pedersen as she is just one place above her in the Women’s World Rankings, but that could change this week if for example Madsen misses the cut and Pedersen finishes 50th or better or if Pedersen finishes 11th and Madsen is 12th, which would switch their positions on account of their World Ranking points’ average.

14/06/2016. Ladies European Tour 2016. Tipsport Golf Masters, Golf Park Pilsen, Dýšina, Czech republic. June 17-19. Emily Kristine Pedersen of Denmark during a practice round. Credit: Tristan Jones

 

Closing in on Madsen, Keating and Pedersen (above) are Swiss amateur Albane Valenzuela, Sweden’s Camilla Lennarth, Germany’s Isi Gabsa, Scotland’s Pamela Pretswell, along with LET rookies Leticia Ras-Anderica and Vivian Tsui of Canada.

Home hope Klara Spilkova is amongst the 14 Olympic prospects in the field of competitors and was two-over-par after her first 10 holes in a share of 46th. She started on the 10th and is playing the course for the first time this week. The popular 21-year-old from Prague picked up a flu-like illness on her return from the KPMG PGA Women’s Championship at the weekend and skipped the Pro-Am to aid her recovery.

The day’s action began under cloudy skies before heavy rain set in early on. Showers are predicted throughout the day along with increasing wind speeds, gusting up to 30 miles per hour by mid-afternoon.