The first round of the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España Femenino is under way in perfect conditions at Aloha Golf Club in Marbella, with some strong groupings on the course this morning.

Three rookies started at 8.30am local time, with Frenchwomen Emilie Piquot and Anaelle Carnet joined by Aditi Ashok from India.

Former winners on the Costa del Sol, Laura Davies and Melissa Reid, who won the title nearby in 2010 and 2011 respectively, are joined by Hannah Burke in the second group and they are followed by local star Azahara Muñoz, Sweden’s Camilla Lennarth and Denmark’s Emily Kristine Pedersen.

From the 10th tee, England’s Trish Johnson teed off first and is playing alongside Jade Schaeffer of France and Ana Menendez of Mexico. They are followed by England’s Rebecca Hudson, Italian Giulia Molinaro and Agathe Sauzon of France, with last year’s Lacoste Ladies Open de France winner Celine Herbin, Nanna Koerstz Madsen and Denmark and Italian Diana Luna in the third group.

The reigning Spanish Open champion Connie Chen of South Africa, who won in Tenerife in 2014, is playing in the fourth group from the 10th with Italian Giulia Sergas and Klara Spilkova of the Czech Republic.

The Open De España Femenino is one of Europe’s longest running and most prestigious championships, which was first part of the Ladies European Tour schedule in 1982, when American Rose Jones triumphed at Las Aves. It is being played on the Costa del Sol for the third time, in the world renowned tourist destination of Marbella. A heaven for golfers, millions of visitors flock to Andalucía annually to experience the top-notch golf courses and white-sand beaches in year-round warm weather. This exciting tournament brings together the world’s best golfers so that fans and participants may enjoy the great beauty of the sport in an incomparable setting.