Scotland’s Gemma Dryburgh fired a bogey-free round of 66 to be in a tie at the top of the leaderboard after the first day of the ISPS HANDA World Invitational Presented By Modest! Golf.
At Galgorm Castle, the 28-year-old opened her round with a birdie on hole 10 before rolling in two more on 16 and 18.
Dryburgh made an eagle on the first and followed that with birdies on the third and eighth holes to reach seven-under-par for the tournament.
“I played very solid from tee to green. I think I only missed three greens, so I played very well and holes the putts and kind of hit it quite close. Overall, a very good day,” she said.
“I have been playing well recently, just nothing has kind of clicked and putts haven’t been dropping. It has been quite frustrating, but I have had to stay patient and I knew a round like this was coming. It was good to see it come out today.”
American Jennifer Kupcho and South Korean Chella Choi also both carded rounds of 67 to be in a share of the lead.
Kupcho said: “I was hitting the ball really well. I had a lot of very makeable putts. It wasn’t until the end of the round that they started falling. It was nice to see some fall at the end. I definitely could have had more, but I am thankful for the ones that finally did fall.”
One stroke behind the leaders and in fourth place after day one is American Emma Talley who shot a round of 67 to be six-under-par.
Talley explained: “It was actually an easy day. When you are hitting it well and you are putting it well, it is pretty easy. I just had one hiccup on 17, but other than that it was pretty steady all day, fairways and greens, not many putts.”
Four players are tied for fifth after the first day including English duo Charley Hull and Georgia Hall, and American Sarah Burnham.
Hall said: “It was really good. I managed to hit a really good shot into 17 and a good up-and-down on 18, so good momentum going into tomorrow.”
“I played solid all day. I hit quite a lot of edges. Me and my caddies were just chatting about it saying it could have been eight or nine-under, but I played pretty solid,” said Hull.
They are joined alongside South Korea’s Min Seo Kwak, who shot the best round of the day at Massereene with a 67 (-5).
Australia’s Su Oh produced a round of 68 (-4) to be T9 alongside Chinese Taipei’s Ssu-Chia Cheng and Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum.
In the men’s competition, England’s Jordan Smith leads by two strokes after posting a score of eight-under-par on the first day.
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