On a picture perfect day in the stunning Southern Highlands, 28 year old Englishwoman Felicity Johnson shot a 7 under par 65 to lead by 1 shot after the first round of the Mt Broughton ALPG Classic. Johnson, who boasts two Ladies European Tour tournament victories was one of the early starters teeing off at 8:20 this morning, and took full advantage of the perfect playing conditions to equal the course record set by Swedish star Caroline Hedwall at this event three years ago.
After starting with a birdie at the first, Johnson proceeded to make 4 more birdies on the front nine to make the turn in 31 strokes. Birdies at both par fives on the back nine saw Johnson at 7 under after 15 holes, and 3 solid pars coming in had her signing for a 65.
Johnson, who splits her time between the USLPGA Tour and the LET, was delighted with her ball-striking today “That was the easiest 7 under round I have ever had. I hit every green in regulation and didn’t make any mistakes, I birdied all of the par fives and made 3 other birdies. I worked really hard earlier in the year with my coach in the US Tony Ziegler and I feel like technically I am in a really good place. I am lucky when I am home in the UK my step-dad Paul Johnson keeps a close eye on my game so I am really lucky to have a great team helping me out.”
Johnson has been long renowned for her ball striking and would be the first to admit that her putting has been the weakest part of her game and has often let her down “I tried to be more positive on the greens today and it really helped. I have been working hard on my rhythm and trying to stay more patient which I haven’t done that well in the past. I rolled the ball really well today and had 28 putts so I just need to keep doing the same things”
In second place just a shot back from Johnson is New South Welshwoman Lauren Hibbert. Hibbert, who is in her third season on the ALPG Tour shot a flawless round of 66, which included 6 birdies, 3 of which came in her last 4 holes.
A stroke further back is Belgian Manon De Roey, while Switzerland's Fabienne In-Albon, Victorian Grace Lennon and Sydney’s Sarah Oh are all tied for fourth place at 3 under par.
Tomorrow’s second and final round will start at 6:30am.
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