Morocco, Thurs 18th March 2010 – England’s Melissa Reid and Spain’s Paula Marti carded a pair of four-under-par 68s to take the clubhouse lead early in the first round of the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco.

Scotland’s Vikki Laing was at four-under after 12 holes, having overcome her opening bogey with five birdies.

Sophie Sandolo of Italy birdied her first four holes starting from the 10th to join the leaders but bogeyed the par-four 14th hole.

She is at three under through six holes alongside Sweden’s Carin Koch, Ireland’s Martina Gillen, who have finished their rounds and Scotland’s Vikki Laing and Russia’s Maria Verchenova, who are still on the course.

Italy’s Veronica Zorzi is in the hunt at two under through nine holes while Frenchwoman Camille Fallay is also at two under after six.

England’s Reid finished 16th at the Handa Women’s Australian Open in Melbourne last week and has revealed that she is desperate to win her first title in her third season on the LET.

She recorded five birdies and one bogey on a hot day at Royal Golf Anfa Mohammédia, in the town of Mohammédia, near Casablanca.

“I’ve put myself right in the tournament. I didn’t hit it great out there today which was a bit disappointing, but hopefully if I get my driver going and get the irons good then it will go well over the next couple of days,” said Reid.

Spain’s Paula Marti, playing in her first tournament of the season, started with a bogey but moved a stroke ahead of the field at two under after her third birdie of the day at the sixth hole. She birdied two of her last three holes to reach four under.

She said: “My driver and my putting were great today, especially on these fairways. They are so tight that you have to hit the fairway otherwise the rough is so high that it’s really impossible to get a decent lie. I’ve made a couple of putts and that’s it. That was overall my round. I made two mistakes in a row but I finished with birdie, par, birdie, so that helps the round.”

France’s Nathalie David-Mila had the first hole-in-one of her professional career at the four, when she holed out with a four-iron from 157 metres, however, unfortunately there was no prize and she carded a six-over 78 overall.

This week’s €275,000 event, which is named after HRH Princess Lalla Meryem, started in 1993 but has joined the Ladies European Tour schedule for the first time in this, its 16th year.

The event is being staged at the same time as the Trophée Hassan II at nearby Royal Golf Dar es-Salam on the men’s European Tour and there will be a joint prize giving ceremony on Sunday. The women’s champion will take home a first prize of €41,250.