(Remeteségpuszta, Hungary July 14 2005) England’s Samantha Head and Liza Walters spearheaded a strong start for the Brits during the opening morning of the €165,000 OTP Bank Central European Open in Hungary.
“I putted really well today, that was the key” said Walters, who had European Tour player Joakim Bäckström’s caddy John Spriggs helping out on the bag. Spriggs, who caddied for Bäckström’s when he claimed victory at the Aa St Omer Open three weeks ago.
“I took the best part of three year’s out from golf after having my son, so it’s only now that I’m really getting my game back together.”
Walters took a complete break from competitive golf after giving birth to her five year old son, Jacob, in 2000. She earned her playing privileges at last year’s Robe di Kappa Ladies European Tour qualifying school. It was a remarkable achievement considering the fact that she is also a full time mother.
“I did a bit of practise in that gap but not much because I missed Jacob too much, and I still restrict my practise to around two to three hours a day, otherwise I would never see him!” she admitted.
“My dad is a great help looking after him. He’s gone from a full-time caddy to a full-time baby-sitter!”
Walters has just moved in with her boyfriend of two years, John, and admitted that she will have more time to focus on her game once her son starts school in September.
Another English player in the mix for the second round tomorrow is Lancashire’s Lora Fairclough, who carded a three under par 68 for a share of third position alongside Alison Munt from Australia and Marina Arruti from Spain. Marianne Skarpnord from Norway was also three under par, after 15 holes.
The defending champion, Minea Blomqvist from Finland, began her campaign with a one over par 72 after a triple bogey at her second hole, the par-four 11th set her back slightly.
The 15-year-old amateur, Henrietta Brockway, from Mere, finished at one-over par and is aiming to make her first professional cut tomorrow after her debut on the LET at the Ladies Open of Portugal in 2003.
“I could have played four under today if I hadn’t made a few silly mistakes,” admitted Brockway, who plays at Yeovil GC, adding: “I would have liked to be two under but my aim is to shoot three or four under tomorrow.”
Play ceased at 20.00 due to darkness with ten matches due to complete round one at 07.30 tomorrow (Friday) morning. Round two will commence at the scheduled time tomorrow.