Laura Davies takes the lead in Indian Open Golf

November 11th, 2010 - 9:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Gurgaon, Nov 11 (IANS) Laura Davies of England shot a sensational bogey-free seven-under 65 and finished with a two-shot lead at the end of the first round Hero Honda Women’s Indian Open here Thursday.

The moment Davies was united with her misplaced golf bag this morning, she was simply unstoppable at the $300,000 event.

Two shots behind and in joint second place are unheralded Australian Rebecca Flood and Thailand’s Phol-Uayporn Praewnapa who recorded identical 67. Rebecca ‘flooded’ her card with eight birdies but dropped three shots also.

Swede professional Louise Friberg fired a four-under 68 to sit on sole fourth spot, while two players Money leader Lee-Anne Pace of South Africa and Italy’s Veronica Zorzi are in fifth place. Defending champion Phatlum Pornanong of Thailand was tied for 12th with an even par 72.

The leading Indians were amateurs Vaishavi Sinha and Tanya Wadhwa, both of whom have flown in from US to compete here. They shot 73 and 74 and were tied 37th and 44th.

The leading Indian pros, Smriti Mehra, Sharmila Nicollet and Saaniya Sharma, all shot six-over 78 each to be tied 77th.

Leader Davies’ bags went missing on the flight from China and she spent an agonizing two days without practice and was forced to skip the Pro-Am, where she was to be the top draw.

“I had to rush to the airport this morning before my tee-off and again make a frantic appeal as the airport authorities did not want to release the bag which arrived from China without signing. The golf officials spoke to the airport people and got my bag released,” said a relieved Davies.

At the DLF Club, Davies said once she got hold of her golf bag, her mood changed for the better. She gave a big smile and said: “There you are. I played well - seven birdies and without dropping a stroke.”

On being asked about her challenging Lee-Ann Pace for the Henderson Money List, she said: “Well, that is why I am here - to win and narrow the gap with Lee-Anne (Pace) and then go for the final fling in Dubai to decide who gets to win the most money and the bonus that comes with it.”

Davies’ birdies came on the first, seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th, 15th and 18th. “I played as if nothing eventful had happened to me in India, but the two little girls - defending champion Pornanong Phatlum (72) and local star Sharmila Nicolette (78) kept me good company. They have vast potential. I can see that in them,” she said.

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