MASSEY AND LARRATT IN THE LEAD AFTER DAY ONE 20-01-2012
Queensland rookie professional Courtney Massey and second year Ladies European Tour player Kym Larratt sit atop a packed leaderboard at 3-under par 70 after the opening round of the ActewAGL Royal Canberra Ladies Classic.
On a perfect summer's day in the nation's capital, the scoring was a little higher than in previous outings with the rough thicker and the greens firmer and faster with only 12 players managing to break par.
Larratt and Massey lead by just one shot over a trio of players including local favourite Nikki Campbell, South Australian Tamie Durdin and New South Wales' Karen Lunn.
Nothing was going to stop Queensland rookie Massey from completing her opening round, not even her swollen left ankle caused from an allergic reaction to being bitten by a March fly early in the week. Massey spent her last nine holes preoccupied with icing her swollen left ankle after every shot before leaving the course immediately after her round to see the local doctor. She is now on antibiotics but says she will be right for the second round.
Asked if she considered pulling out at any stage during the round an emphatic "no" was the response. "I was going to do whatever it took to finish today, as a rookie I need to earn my way into the RACV Ladies Masters, Women's Australian Open and the New Zealand Open, so there was no way I was stopping".
On her form today, "I hit it really well, I don't know whether the swelling on my ankle helped or not, but I hit it really well. Then when I missed the green I made some great up-and-downs."
England's Larratt said of her round "I had a really, really solid start which I was chuffed with. There were a couple of par-4's on the back nine I dropped a couple of shots on, but over all I'm pretty happy."
Durdin had a memorable day in more ways than one. She aced the par-3 13th hole to win herself an EZ-GO Golf cart. The magic club was an 8-iron struck from 141 metres. "It was a perfect shot, it never left the pin, and it pitched just behind the hole and rolled back in," the 34 year old said after her round.
Another seven players are tied at one-under par including American teenager Jessica Korda, Victorian Open winner Joanna Klatten, Victorians Lindsey Wright, Vicky Thomas and Lisa Jean and New South Wales' Rachel Bailey and England's Danielle Montgomery.
Defending champion Ashley Ona carded an opening round of five-over par 78 to be tied for 34th, while England's Laura Davies had a disastrous day to finish at 7-over par and tied for 47th.