Japanese duo Ayaka Nakayama and Rina Tatematsu set the pace with matching rounds of one-under-par 71 on the first day of the Ladies European Tour’s Pre-Qualifier C for Lalla Aicha Tour School at Angkor Golf Resort in Cambodia.
Nakayama, a 24-year-old rookie professional on the LET in 2018, from Kawasaki, made a solid start with eight consecutive pars, followed by a birdie on the par-3 ninth to make the turn in one-under.
The University of Central Florida graduate dropped a shot on the long 13th but recovered with a birdie on thepar-5 16th to come home in level par 36.
Japanese amateur Tatematsu bogeyed the first and went out in 37 but came back in 34 after mixing three birdies with a bogey on the back nine.
The pair are a stroke ahead of Shu-lin Lin, from Chinese Taipei, with Japanese amateur Hekaru Teranishi fourth on two-over.
The top 5 players and ties after four rounds, or 72 holes, will advance to the Final Stage of Lalla Aicha Tour School, to be held at Amelkis Golf Club and PalmGolf Marrakesh Ourika from Friday 16th to Tuesday 20th December, joining those LET members who are already exempt and further players from Pre Qualifiers A and B.
After the Final Stage, the top 5 players will be eligible for Ladies European Tour Membership in Category 5c (or equivalent of Cat. 5c for 2019). Players from 6th to 25th position will be eligible for Membership in Category 8a in 2019.