Christine Wolf has taken an early lead at the La Sella Open with play suspended for the day after powering through storm delays to fire a bogey-free 67 (-5) in Spain.
With the action coming to a halt twice during her round, the Austrian kept her composure to roll in five birdies either side of the stoppages and post the early number to catch.
“I’m really happy with how today went,” Wolf said. “Bogey free is always nice. I think I only missed two greens which always helps. Holed some long putts, missed some short ones, but overall I’m really happy.
“It’s very different to last week. The weather was a bit cold and wet and windy. The grass is also very different. But it’s nice. I’m enjoying the heat.”
Hot on Wolf’s heels is a quartet of Spanish stars. Continuing where she left off last week after finishing T6 at the Aramco Team Series – London, Nuria Iturrioz had a day to remember as she carded three birdies and an eagle en route to a 68 (-4) on home soil.
“I’m happy to be in Spain,” Iturrioz said, who currently sits in solo second. “The course is amazing. I remember when I was an amateur playing here so I’m really happy to be here.
“I just tried to make as many putts as possible. The eagle was after the delay, so maybe tomorrow I’m going to have to make a call to get us to come in a couple of times so I can make some more putts!”
Maria Hernandez, Carmen Alonso, and 17-year-old amateur Andrea Revuelta sit one adrift of the three-time winner on three-under par – the latter competing in her first Ladies European Tour (LET) event.
“I had a lot of fun today,” Revuelta said. “It was very long day, but I’m glad it’s over. I didn’t miss many shots and I just had to be patient. It’s my first time playing here but I really like it, it’s in Spain so I’m happy.
“I’ve got really good feelings playing right now because last week we [the Spanish national team] won the Girls’ European Team Championships. It was a fun tournament so I’m hoping that the good golf stays.”
While Alonso, a recent winner at the Ladies Open by Pickala Rock Resort, was buoyed on by a surprise guest at La Sella Golf Resort & Spa.
“I really like to play in Spain,” the 39-year-old said. “Today when we arrived to the first tee, I arrived and my brother was there. I never expected because I haven’t seen him since Christmas. So to be here with the family is amazing.”
Napoleaova said: “I think today we were in a very good mood, even with the suspensions, probably because of the sun compared to in London with the wind and the rain.
“It was overall a good solid round and finally the irons started working and the driver as well. I think it comes down to putting, which is slightly harder with the grain going around.”
Gainer, playing alongside the recent LET winner, commented: “It’s really tough, having such long breaks, one to two hours. The first time I didn’t get to hit a practice shot. It’s not easy but it’s the same for everyone so you have to capitalise on what you can do and hit the middle of the green.
Twenty two groups are yet to finish their first round after play was suspended at 18:01 local time. Among those players are Sweden’s Sara Kjellker – currently T2 on four-under par, and France’s Anne-Charlotte Mora, who sits T4 on three-under par.
Taking into account the extreme weather conditions here in Spain this week, and following a discussion with the promoter for the well-being of the players, volunteers, and all others involved with the tournament, the La Sella Open will now be reduced to 54 holes.
The resumption of round one will be at 11:15, with round two played on Saturday. A cut of 60 players and ties will follow the conclusion of Saturday’s action.