Spain’s Carolina Gonzalez Garcia shot a first round 63, 9 under par to lead by four shots in the first round of the ASGI Swiss Ladies Open at Gams Werdenberg Golf Club, in Switzerland.

Gonzalez Garcia recorded 4 birdies and a bogey to reach the turn in 33 shots and then caught fire on the back nine covering the final 6 holes in 6 under par. The Spanish player’s lowest previous round was 4 under so she delighted with her course record.

“I hit it very close and putted very well. I hit every fairway and most of the greens. I hit it to 4 metres with a 7 iron on the final hole for an eagle. I played aggressively.”

Amateur Rachel Rossel is the leading Swiss player, opening with a 67, to tie with Austrian Christine Wolf and Ainil Bakar from Malaysia.

Rossel, who has spent a couple of months practicing in the United States during this winter, recorded 4 birdies, an eagle and one bogey. The 22-year-old from Bern was pleased to have scored so well after struggling with her game coming into the event.

“I was very pleased with minus 5 because I struggled a bit in the last few days. My game was really on point today, I think I hit probably 16 greens and always quite close and wasn’t really fighting for bogeys at all. I did a lot of birdies as well, I’m really pleased with how I played.”

The closest challengers are Hungary’s Csilla Lajtai-Rozsa and Brazil’s Miriam Nagl, who were both bogey free on their way to matching 68’s, four under par. Nagl found today’s conditions the easiest this week and although there was a one hour delay for frost in the morning, the strong breeze that had made playing conditions extremely tough in practice had subsided.

“The course wasn’t as difficult as it was in the practice rounds. In a way, it probably played as easy as it could with being 5 degrees Celsius. I think if the wind had blown it would have been much tougher. So it was alright.”

“I made a few par saves, 6 footers, and took advantage of the birdie putts. It couldn’t have been too much better.”

Nagl is currently qualified for this year’s Olympic Games and will combine playing on the LET Access Series with other playing commitments, until the qualification process concludes in July.

“I’m playing LETAS to get points for the Olympics so I will probably play them all the way up to July and then focus on the Olympics. They’ve been fun, they’ve been good preparation for LET events and so happy to be here before Morocco next week.”

Three players, Scots Michele Thomson and Laura Murray, and Sweden’s Lynn Carlsson all shot 69, to be tied at 3 under par.


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