It’s been a month to remember for Carmen Alonso after she clinched her maiden Ladies European Tour (LET) at the Ladies Open by Pickala Rock Resort three weeks ago, and things just got even more special for the Spaniard at the La Sella Open as she was spurred on by a special family reunion on day one.
Competing at home on the LET for the first time since the historic victory in Finland – one which helped here punch tickets to both the Amundi Evian Champion and AIG Women’s Open – Alonso made a clutch start in Dénia as she fired a 69 (-3) on home soil in front of a surprise guest.
“I really love to play in Spain,” the 39-year-old explained. “Today, when I arrived to the first tee my brother was there which I never expected because I haven’t seen him since Christmas. So to be here with the family here is amazing. And then the rest! The food, obviously not the weather, but we can eat properly so I’m very happy to be here.
“I was with a couple of my brothers in Madrid after I won in Finland, but I didn’t see the rest of the family until now, so I can’t wait to be with them and have a celebration with them tonight!”
On to the golf, and Alonso continued her fine momentum at La Sella Golf Resort & Spa as she carded six birdies either side of two storm suspensions to eventually finish two adrift of leader Christine Wolf.
“It was a really long day,” Alonso said, who just managed to close her round before play was suspended for the day in Spain. “It’s another week with thunder storms, we’ve already had three weeks in a row like this. But the game was good, a little bit tough when you have to come back from the players’ lounge after one hour and a half.
“It’s really difficult [coming back after the suspensions]. But obviously with Maria [Beautell, my caddie], we always have fun and try to be focused on the golf course. It makes it easier.”
The last player to sign her card on Thursday, Alonso will be boosted by having an extra day of rest after the La Sella Open was reduced to a 54-hole tournament to help with player well-being following the weather disruption.
With plenty to think about before then, the big hitting Spaniard will now turn to the putting green – on top of quality family time – as she goes in pursuit of win number two this month.
“This week, the most important thing is the greens,” Alonso said. “There’s a lot of grain, so you really have to read them properly. Today, everything was fine. I hit the ball well off the tee, the putter was good, Maria read the lines good, so nothing to complain about. Keep going tomorrow.”
Round one of the La Sella Open continues on Friday at 11:15am local time. A cut of 60 players and ties will then follow the conclusion of round two on Saturday.