(El Golf Platja de Pals, Costa Brava, Girona September 22, 2005) – Spaniard Paula Marti and France’s Gwladys Nocera opened with a pair of five under par 68s to share the first round lead of the €190,000 Catalonia Ladies Masters at Golf Platja de Pals, on the Costa Brava.

Gwladys Nocera shares the lead

This event marks the grand finale of the 2005 LET calendar and for many players it is their last opportunity to shine in the international golfing arena.

Nocera, 30, is one such player who will make her last bid of the year for a tournament victory on the LET this week.

Nocera has amassed 13 top twenty finishes, including seven top tens, in seventeen starts on the LET this season.

Her consistency earned her a place on The 2005 European Solheim Cup Team, but despite two runners up finishes she is still to clinch a Tour title.

“I have been thinking about it,” she admitted, “but I am going to the range now to hit some balls because my irons were very strange today.”

Nocera carded six birdies and just one bogey, after she hit her second shot through the back of the seventh green, a par-4.

“I found the trees on the first hole, but managed to save par and hit a seven iron in.

“Then again on 18 I found the trees, but I hit a low fade and got back on the fairway.”

Shot making was the key around the tree lined course according to Ekelundh, a two-time winner on the LET, who fired a four under par 69 today.

She used the tactics which earned her the 2004 Portuguese Ladies Open title on the lollipop lined fairways of Aroiera GC to forge her way into contention.

“I know how to curl it round trees and I’m a good tree player,” she said, admitting that several of her drives found the bushes.

“I had a lucky bounce off a tree on the first, which got me back on the fairway and I hit an 8-iron in close.

“But on this course, you’re going to be in the trees for sure, so it’s not only about skills, you need a bit of luck as well.”

Sandolo, one of the LET’s most consistent players at the beginning of the 2005 season, was another player to fire a four under par 69 and said: “I had a blank period mid season, which was just my putting, but now my putting and drives are so much more consistent.

“It’s good to be back in Spain and I love this kind of narrow, tricky course.”

Monnet Melocco, from Paris, added: “It reminds me of the courses in the South of France and near Paris, like La Phare, Chantaco and La Niveau.

“It’s a friendly tournament and the French and the Spanish get along very well, so I feel like I’m playing in my own country.”

Serramia, the current leader of the Ryder Cup Wales Rookie of the Year Award, appeared to be enjoying the home comforts after she also carded a four under par 69.

And Tinning is also in the running for her fourth tournament victory of the season after a 69 left her just one shot off the pace.