Laura Murray and Jessica Bradley flew the flags for Scotland and England respectively in the first round of the WPGA International Challenge at Stoke by Nayland.

And in doing so they found themselves in exalted company in what is the penultimate event of the LET Access Series.

Occupying pole position with them is Austria’s Sarah Schober, leader of the LETAS Order of Merit.

Moreover, such has been the quality of the 24-year-old’s golf in what has been her first full season since turning pro, she is already guaranteed a Ladies European Tour card whatever happens here or in the Series finale in Spain later this month.

Five of the coveted cards are up for grabs and the seven in with a chance of claiming one are all in action at the Suffolk resort.

The list of hopefuls, however, includes neither Murray nor Bradley and their sights are set on claiming the €4,800 winner’s cheque on offer in a tournament that carries a €30,000 prize fund.

Having posted three-under-par rounds of 69 both have made a fine start, although Bradley, who already has a LET card, was left with a feeling of what might have been.

Starting her round at the 10th hole, she ended her outward nine by chipping in at the par three 18th for the third of four birdies en route to a three-under-par round of 69.

The fourth followed at the par three third but was cancelled out by the solitary blemish on her card – a bogey at the par four fifth.

Meanwhile, Charlotte Thompson, who lies fifth in the Order of Merit and is the focus of much local interest as a result of her attachment to nearby Channels Golf Club, also fell foul of that hole.

She made amends with birdies at the par four eighth and 12th to go two-under but undid all the good work with two more bogeys to finish on level-par.

That left her two adrift of Spain’s Maria Parra who is third in the Order of Merit and level with Sweden’s Jenny Haglund and Luna Sobron of Spain who occupy second and sixth places respectively.

The other member of the septet vying for a top five finish and the LET card that goes with it, Finland’s Sanna Nuutinen, had a day to forget by ending it with a seven-over-par total of 79 and in jeopardy of missing the cut.


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