Photograph courtesy of LET/Tristan Jones Photography
American Lauren Stephenson made the best of the perfect scoring conditions at Bonville Golf Resort this morning, shooting a superb 6-under par round of 66 to take the lead after the opening round of the Geoff King Motors Australian Ladies Classic Bonville.
The 23-year old, who hails from Greenville in South Carolina started her round from the 9th tee this morning, and was quickly into stride making four birdies in her opening six holes to set the tone for the round. Stephenson dropped a shot at the difficult par 4 16th hole, before finished strongly with three more birdies over the closing holes to sign for her round of 66.
This is her fourth week of competition in 2020, as she played in the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio and tied for 35th, missed the cut in the ISPS Handa Vic Open and tied for 48th in the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open last week.
She added: “I love Australia. I’m super happy to be here for a month. I think I would move here if I didn’t live in the United States. The people are so nice and the golf is so fun. This course is extremely different to what we played the last two weeks in the Vic and Australian Opens, but this course is amazing. It’s nice to play something that’s more familiar to me, because my courses at home have a lot of grain and are similar to this style. I feel at home.
“Being from South Carolina, it’s very humid, so yesterday was very familiar to me. I’ve enjoyed it so far, so I’m excited for this week.
“I have had a first round lead before, although not in a while. It’s the first day and we’ve got a lot of golf left, so this afternoon I’ll take it easy and maybe go to the beach. Enjoying the rest of the week is my plan. I feel like I’m playing good golf, so I’m not going to stress too much.”
In a tie for second place just one shot off the lead after shooting 5-under par rounds of 67 are Australian Breanna Gill, Scot Gemma Dryburgh, Finn Noora Komulainen and the Korean trio of Min A Yoon, Hye Ji Lee and world number 35 Ayean Cho.
Amateur star Stephanie Kyriacou was the best of the rest of the Australians in the field today, the youngster shot an almost faultless 3-under par round of 69 to leave her more illustrious playing partners, American star Christina Kim and European number 1 Esther Henseleit in her wake.
The defending champion Marianne Skarpnord was five-under-par and tied for the lead after nine holes, but made a costly triple bogey eight on the 18th, which she played as her 10th and finished at even par.
Round 2 will get underway at Bonville Golf Resort Friday morning at 6:50 am AEDT
For live scoring click HERE
For round 2 Tee-times click HERE
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