Photograph courtesy of Tristan Jones Photography/LET
Victoria's Vicky Uwland will take a one-shot lead into tomorrow's second round of the Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Pro-am after shooting an opening 1 under par round of 71 at the Sheraton Deva Resort today.
The Victorian started her round on the 15th hole in the shotgun-start format and didn't have to wait too long for her first birdie after nearly holing out for a hole-in-one at the par 3 17th hole. She made two further birdies at the par five 6th and 13th holes, which were offset with bogey at the 7th and another at her final hole of the day, the 14th hole.
Uwland was clearly delighted after her round. " We had some great weather today and the course is drying out nicely, this golf course really keeps you on your toes!"
With the course playing much longer than its published 5787 metres due to recent heavy rain it proved to be quite a slog for many of the professionals.
Uwland, who is one of the longer hitters on the ALPG Tour said the key to her round was her driver which kept her out of trouble, "If you can drive the ball well this course gives you a lot of chances and that is what I did well today, kept out of the trees and didn't find any trouble"
The 41-year-old, who retired from full-time professional competition in 2010 is now a Club Professional at Beerwah Golf Club on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
Uwland now combines teaching and playing, competing in a number of events each year on the ALPG Tour with her best finish on the ALPG Tour to date in 2018 being a tie for 6th place at the BWAC Yamba Pro-am at Yamba in March.
The three-time Pro-am winner on the ALPG Tour has long been touted as one of the best ball strikers in women's golf, and in some respects has not achieved the greatness expected of her when she turned professional in 2002 after being a part of Australia's winning World Cup Team, alongside LPGA stars Katherine Kirk and Lindsay Wright.
Though Uwland has tasted some degree of success as a professional; on the ALPG Tour her best finish was at the 2012 Canberra Classic where she finished 2nd, and on the Ladies European Tour her best finish was a third place at the Portuguese Ladies Open, these achievements pale into insignificance when compared to those of Kirk and Wright.
Many experts had felt at the time that Uwland was the more talented of the impressive trio, however for whatever reason this did not convert to the success enjoyed by her now more illustrious compatriots.
In second place just a shot back is the trio made up of Queenslanders Ellen Davies-Graham and Georgia Clarke, who is in her rookie season on the ALPG Tour, and Victorian Grace Lennon, who is hoping this event can kick-start her year as she heads to the US to compete on the Symetra Tour.
A further shot back at 2 over par are the talented pair of youngsters Amy Walsh and Kristalle Blum, joined by recent Qantas Golf Club Gold Coast Challenge and Club Car Series winner Breanna Gill.
Sarah Kemp started the event as the favourite but struggled today shooting a 3 over par 75. However, Kemp is the class player in the field as is reflected in the Rolex Women's World Rankings, and sitting just 4 shots off the lead heading into tomorrow's final round will still fancy her chances.
Round 2 will be played tomorrow 24th May, where the winner of the first official women's professional golf tournament to be played in the South Pacific Islands will be crowned.
Round 1 Scores
The hashtag for the Pro-am is #newcalwomensproam and scoring can be found on the ALPG website alpg.com.au
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