(Wiener Neustadt – 26 May 2005) Italy’s Sophie Sandolo, England’s Georgina Simpson and Marine Monnet-Melocco from France share the first round lead at the €250,000 Siemens Austrian Ladies Open Powered by EVN.

Georgina Simpson

“I hit a lot of good iron shots,” said Simpson, who was first into the clubhouse.

“My putter is working very well so the iron shots got converted into quite good birdies. I’ve been working on my swing quite a lot over the winter and it all seems to be coming together.

“It’s not going to be the only 66 this week, there are going to be a few out there. The greens are perfect and a pleasure to be on. I would imagine that there will be some low scoring and I don’t think that 66 will be the course record at the end of the week.

“There are a lot of par fives that you’ve got opportunities on, a lot of birdie opportunities. But I still feel I left a couple out there.”

Monnet had a fantastic start in the warm and windy afternoon conditions going out in 30 with five birdies on the 11th, 12th, 13th, 15th and 18th, followed by another at the ninth.

“The good start gave me a lot of confidence, which made me play better and I was grouped with two really nice players, which made me relax and switch off in between shots,” said the 26-year-old from Paris.

She will play with the number one Austrian golfer on Robe di Kappa Ladies European Tour, Natascha Fink, who had a 74 and Eleanor Pilgrim from Wales, who had a three-under-par 69, again in the second round tomorrow.