Valentine Derrey, Elia Folch, Fanny Cnops and Maha Haddioui made strong starts in their bid to secure a place in The Evian Championship with opening rounds of two-under-par 69 in the Jabra Ladies Open at Evian Resort Golf Club in France.
The tournament is dual-ranking on the LET and LET Access Series which gives two players the chance to qualify for September’s Evian Championship on the same golf course, as well as the winner the chance to book their place in the Ricoh Women’s British Open in early August.
Derrey won the 2016 Jabra Ladies Open before it became the official Evian qualifier and she would love to make a second appearance in The Evian Championship, having qualified courtesy of her maiden Ladies European Tour victory in the 2014 Turkish Airlines Ladies Open.
The 30-year-old from Paris said: “It’s a course I like and a place I like to come to. I felt good and it’s a course where you have to be strategic and place your ball to have the best shot into the green. I hit the ball very well consistently and I hit it close to the pins and made a couple of putts. I think I had three birdies and one bogey.”
Folch, Cnops and Haddioui are all looking to make their debut appearance in The Evian Championship.
Folch, 27, from Barcelona, said: “There is still a lot of work to do but it would be amazing to qualify, a dream come true.”
Belgian rookie Cnops agreed. The 27-year-old from Gent said: “It’s something that’s on your bucket list and now it’s an opportunity to actually make it, so it would mean a lot. I’m trying not to put too much pressure on the result and just feeling good around the course and taking in the experience.”
As play continued in changeable weather conditions, Valeria Martinoli from Switzerland was three-under-par after 12 holes. The 26-year-old from Faido, who turned professional in January 2015, started at the sixth hole and made four birdies against one bogey from holes 10-17.