|Isabella Ramsay on the Al Maaden course|
Sweden’s Isabella Ramsay made the most of ideal scoring conditions in Marrakech on Thursday to claim a one shot lead following the first round of Final Qualifying at Lalla Aicha Tour School for the 2013 LET season.
The 25-year-old professional golfer from Brunnby carded a seven under par 65 at the Al Maaden Golf Resort, to finish a stroke ahead of Peruvian Maria Salinas and Australian Nikki Campbell.
“Today we got a really great game plan (me and my caddy/brother),” said Ramsay, who turned professional in 2006 and earned two wins on the Swedish Nordea Tour in 2012. “We are a team, so I felt pretty comfortable. We played the Pre-Q and also felt really good. We played one shot at a time so I did not know my score, but I know it now and I am happy.
“I had eight birdies and missed the 18th hole but made all the rest and the shots were very close to the pin. When you play good it looks so easy! My driving was okay and everything was okay. I am happy.”
Over on the Amelkis Course, Campbell and Salinas signed for superb 66s to lie in joint second.
“I’ve been playing well since I got here. I just hit good shots in and made the putts and that’s all you have to do really, consistently,” said Campbell, making her first appearance at LET Tour School after spending ten years competing on the LPGA of Japan.
Salinas, who is also making her first appearance at the LET Tour School, said: “I started even par through four holes and made a really good shot on five, two inches from the pin and that started it all. I did four birdies in a row, had a bogey on nine but I kept my mind in the game and did the same thing on the back nine, just kept going.”
A further nine players opened with rounds of 68 including 16-year-old Thai amateur Ariya Jutanugarn, Indian professional Sharmila Nicollet and German amateur Nina Holleder, who said: “My putter was better than last week and I made a few long putts. I had five birdies and I missed two greens, so I hit 16 greens in total today. I am a little bit ill. I was not bad yesterday. I did not change anything from last week, except the tee shot on number five. Today it was further back.”
Curtis Cup star Charley Hull, 16, was among the 12 players on three under par and said: “I played alright but I missed a seven inch putt on 16. I nearly holed my first one and then I missed my second one from that far. I laughed, but I have learned from my mistake.
“I went to tap it in but I was in my shadow so I don’t think I could even see the hole. I had four birdies in a row on 18, one, two and three and then followed the next hole by a bogey. It was a good shot, just a miss-club over the green. It was a steady round of golf and I’m happy. It was the worst I could have shot so I’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
The 141 woman field is spilt over the Al Maaden Golf Resort and Amelkis Resort over the first four days, playing two rounds on each of the courses. After 72 holes, a cut at 60 plus ties precedes the fifth and final round on the Al Maaden Golf Resort to decide the top 30 full cards plus ties on offer for the 2013 Ladies European Tour.