|Klára Spilková from the Czech Republic|
Klára Spilková of the Czech Republic claimed the early lead at the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters with an immaculate opening round of five under par 67 on the Majlis Course at Emirates Golf Club.
The second year Ladies European Tour professional from Prague birdied her first two holes and then picked up three shots in a row from the 10th on a warm and calm first morning.
“I played really good. I had five birdies and was very, very solid, so I’m so happy. It was a good game,” said Spilková. “I enjoy this golf course, it suits my style. The greens are very nice, very good roll. So I made very nice birdies and very good putts.”
Spilková is looking to gift herself an early birthday present by securing her tour card for the 2013 season with a strong performance in Dubai before she turns 18 next Saturday. She is currently ranked 97th on the ISPS Handa Order of Merit and the top 80 players, who have competed in at least six events over the season, will retain their full playing status. At present, she is just outside that mark.
“My year wasn’t so good, so I really want to finish good,” she continued. “I had a few cuts, I think it was half and half. I missed a cut and then made it. So I really want to finish good, because I a little bit need to. I really want to finish, I don’t know, Top‑10, it’s going to be nice.”
Anne-Lise Caudal (FRA) , Felicity Johnson (ENG) , Lorie Kane (CAN) , Ashleigh Simon (ZAF) and Nontaya Srisawang (THA) all ended the morning session a stroke behind the leader on four under par 68.
Frenchwoman Anne-Lise Caudal, who claimed her second LET victory in Germany earlier this season in a play-off against Laura Davies, was also on five under par after 11 holes. She birdied 11, 13 and 17 before picking up two more shots on the first and second holes, but dropped a shot with two bogeys against a birdie in her last six.
“I missed only four greens, so I’m quite happy with my day,” said Caudal. “The golf course, it’s always in good condition, and then the weather is pretty nice, as well. So yeah, we enjoy coming here.”
England’s Felicity Johnson, who earned her LPGA Tour card at Final Qualifying School in the United States last week, was buzzing with confidence and flew out of the blocks by opening with three straight birdies. She bogeyed the 13th but then birdied 14 and 18 for a back nine total of four under par. She then birdied the second but bogeyed the sixth for a level par front nine.
“I hit the ball really good. I hit 16 out of 18 greens, so long game in great shape. Gave myself some good chances on the greens, which I converted a lot of, but three 3‑putts was a bit disappointing but overall I’m very happy,” said Johnson.
“I played great for five rounds last week, so it was a long, tiring week, which I’m glad it’s done and dusted now. But yeah, coming here, it’s given me a lot of confidence, so I went out there today, just try to enjoy it, which I did and played some good golf which helped.”