| Second year LET member Whitney Hillier |
Australian Whitney Hillier and Dewi-Claire Schreefel of the Netherlands pushed each other into a share of the first round lead in the Helsingborg Open as the pair opened with matching rounds of 67 at Vasatorps Golfklubb in Sweden.
Playing together in the same group, Hillier raced ahead with seven birdies in her first 13 holes against five from Schreefel, but the western Australian dropped shots on the par-3 14th and 17th to draw level on five-under par.
“It was really nice to play with Dewi, because she pushed me all day and it was a solid group. I had 23 putts so I was very happy with that,” said Hillier, 23, who led the Italian Open with a first round 66 earlier this summer.
Schreefel, 28, continued: “It definitely helps when you’re in a group that’s playing well. If you’re in a group and no birdies fall you can get in a slip. It was a great round of golf with five birdies and no mistakes. I rolled the ball well.”
Finland’s Minea Blomqvist and Camilla Lennarth of Sweden ended a day of fine conditions a stroke behind on four under par.
| Fifth year LET member Dewi-Claire Schreefel, whose best finish on tour was 2nd at in Dubai in 2012. |
Lennarth, who won her first Ladies European Tour title in Slovakia earlier this season, holed her third shot from the greenside bunker for an eagle on the par 5 12th and added five birdies and three bogeys.
She said: “I’m happy. I didn’t come into this tournament with good confidence but I played really well in the end. My expectations weren’t high, so I was just hoping for a good day and I enjoyed the company in the group and it turned out to be a good one. I felt like I played it smart. The ones I missed, I missed on the right side of the pin so it wasn’t difficult to get up and down and when I hit it close I made birdie.”
Blomqvist, a two-time winner on the Ladies European Tour, had four steady birdies in a bogey free round. She said: “I haven’t played well for almost a year and it’s been very tough. Thoughts can get very negative and in the month off I thought about how I wanted to play and I tried to see the shots and go for it and had a relaxed mind. I have also been working on my swing as it wasn’t good. Everything needs to come together and I hope it’s a better track for me from now on.
“The wind direction made it easier today because it was helping on a lot of holes. There were only a few holes where it was hurting. It was nice to make a birdie on the last because I missed short ones on eight, nine and ten from under eight feet.”