England’s Melissa Reid says she feels acclimatised to the time zone and hot, humid conditions going into this week’s Sanya Ladies Open at Yalong Bay Golf Club in Hainan, China.
Reid, 24, claimed a share of 18th place last week in the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia after eight top-10 finishes on the Ladies European Tour this season, as well as two wins at the Deloitte Ladies Open and Open de Espana.
“It was good to play last week in Malaysia to get used to the time zone and stuff. I played this course last year and have memories of it so hopefully we can produce some good scores,” she said.
The Derby golfer was bitten by a venomous snake near the end of her second round at the venue last year before claiming a share of 16th but was not going to let the fear of another incident stop her pursuit of a fourth Ladies European Tour title.
Last year her title hopes suffered when she hit a first-round 78, which she followed with rounds of 68 and 69.
“I had a really bad first round. It’s quite a tricky course so I’m not sure about the condition yet and the wind will probably die down a bit, but I’m definitely looking to put myself up there in contention,” said the world number 36, who is the highest ranked player in the field.
She admitted that she was still feeling tired after the exhilaration of winning The Solheim Cup in Ireland last month and was struggling to find the same form that led to her third LET victory in Spain the week previously.
“I think Solheim took it out of me a little bit more than I expected and then playing Italy. I think if I could do things again I wouldn’t have played Italy but gone straight to Malaysia so I could do a little more preparation out there,” she said. “I felt a little bit rushed in Malaysia and didn’t have a practice round as you’re not allowed on the course on Pro Am days, but all in all I’m going to have a good couple of weeks hopefully and get a bit of work done before some time off.”
Reid is playing in the first of two back-to-back events in China this week, both of which are tri-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour, Ladies Asian Golf Tour and China Golf Association. The next event is the Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open, located an hour from Shanghai and South African Lee-Anne Pace is defending both titles.
After six top-10s on the LET this season, including two joint runner-up finishes in Switzerland and Spain, the 30-year-old from Mossel Bay is ranked 12th on the LET’s 2011 Henderson Money List but is eager to end her title drought this year and climb into the top-10 in Europe.
“I am really excited to return to Yalong Bay. I love the place and I love the golf course. Everyone is so nice and I feel very welcome,” Pace said.
“I have always enjoyed coming to China, in fact I am came four days early to spend in Shanghai to see the city and experience the culture a bit more. Yalong Bay is a fantastic place and everyone in China is always very nice and polite – and of course I love noodle soup!”
The 54-hole Sanya Ladies Open gets under way from Friday, with a cut to the leading 60 professionals and those tied after 36 holes.