Stacey Keating braved scorching hot temperatures at Oatlands today to shoot a 6 under par 66, and take a two shot lead into tomorrow's second and final round of the Bing Lee Fujitsu ALPG Pro-am.
Keating played in the morning wave of players who had to contend with heatwave temperatures in the low 40's, until a line of thunderstorms rolled in around 3pm causing the afternoon groups to be delayed by approximately 45 minutes.
The pm players were relieved to see the temperature drop some 18 degrees after the delay, however the conditions would prove to be much tougher than in the morning with strong winds and frequent squally showers
Keating, the 2012 French and Spanish Open Champion started the day in style with a birdie at the first, an eagle at the fourth, and birdies at the sixth, eighth and ninth holes to turn in 6 under par 30. The back nine at Oatlands is always the tougher of the two nines, Keating balanced out bogeys at the twelfth and the seventeenth with birdies at the fifteenth and eighteenth holes to sign for a 66.
Keating, who has competed in the Bing Lee Fujitsu NSW Women’s Open on nine occasions has plenty of experience around the demanding Oatlands layout, and was delighted with her opening round today.
“I have always felt comfortable here at Oatlands, to play well here you really need to drive the ball well and that is what I did today. The course suits my game and my eye and that really helps. I hit the ball really well today and had a great day out there with a fantastic group of ladies.” Keating said of her playing partners Bing Lee matriarch Yenda Lee, Linda Lee and Eleanor Mills-Westly. “ It was also great to have my fiance Darren back on the bag this week after pulling my own bag the past two events.”
Two shots behind Keating are local favorite Lauren Hibbert and LPGA star Sarah Kemp, who both shot 4 under par rounds of 68. Victorian Grace Lennon and Frenchwoman Justine Dreher are a further shot back in fourth place at 3 under par.
The second and final round will start tomorrow morning at Oatlands Golf Club from 7:30am.
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