Finland’s Sanna Nuutinen takes a one shot lead after the first round of the Ribeira Sacra Patrimonio de la Humanidad International Ladies Open, at Augas Santas Balneario & Golf Resort, in Spain.

Nuutinen credited her strong wedge play over the challenging course, for her 4 under par, 64.

“My wedge shots were pretty good today. When I had wedge in my hand I knew it was going to be a good one. I’ve been working hard with those because I knew I would need them on this course."

"I didn’t get nervous, I just wanted to make more birdies. I had some good chances but the putts just didn’t go in. I played here last year so I feel confident with the course. I know exactly where I want to be so I just go and hit it and not think too much.”

Defending champion Michele Thomson opened with a 65, 3 under par, to sit one shot behind Nuutinen and alongside Spain’s Piti Martinez Bernal and Marion Duvernay from France. The Scot is enjoying being back at Augas Santas and hopes to retain the title she won 12 months ago.

“It's an honour to be back defending the title. The course has obviously had a lot of rain and the staff have done a fantastic job with the greens. So a credit to the green staff.”

“Each tournament I have gained valuable experience. Within the year I have identified certain areas in my game, which I have worked hard on and it's great to see positive results. I only had 26 putts today so that sums my round up. My short game was the key to a low score. I have great memories from last year so that helps me to stay confident, which is important on a course like this.”

Top Spanish amateur Maria Parra, Switzerland’s Caroline Rominger and Valdis Thora Jonsdottir from Iceland are all tied for 5th place, at 2 under par, 66. 

 

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