New Zealand’s Cathryn Bristow is just two off the lead after the first round of the South African Women’s Open being played at the Southbroom Golf Club, located on the Hibiscus Coast, south of Durban.
Bristow posted a one-under-par 71, which included 17 pars and one birdie on the par 4 11th. South Australian Sarah King is the leading Australian. In wet conditions, King’s round of even-par 72 included three birdies and three bogeys and she shares 16th position with 11 other players.
Norway's Marianne Skarpnord carded a three-under par 69 to claim a one-shot lead over seven players, including home favourites Ashleigh Simon and Stacy Lee Bregman, Finland’s Minea Blomqvist, England’s Charley Hull, Swede Camilla Lennarth, German’s Nina Holleder and American Katie Burnett.
Skarpnord was level par after 13 holes of her round, but birdied three of the last five, including the 17th and 18th to edge clear at the top of the leaderboard.
"To be honest I can’t complain because I hit a couple of sloppy shots today. I saved a really good par on 10 after hitting my drive into the hazard and saved a really good par on the first," said Skarpnord. "The greens are really good. The fairways are just a little bit wet."
ACT’s Nikki Campbell is the best placed Australian, Campbell got off to a rocky start with a triple bogey on the 10th hole but the two time winner on the LPGA of Japan hit straight back with a birdie on the next hole. Another two birdies and a bogey saw her go out in one-over-par. She came home in even-par to be one-over total and tied for 27th.
Stacey Keating and Nikki Garrett both posted two-over-par 74 to be tied for 44th position, while Whitney Hillier is a further two shots back and just outside the projected cut line. Queensland’s Bree Arthur has some work to do after posting an opening round of 78 to be back in a tie for 88th position.
Unfortunately the weather forecast for the week-end is more rain, hopefully the course will hold up, as it was underwater around a month ago.