England’s Charlotte Ellis and amateur Ellie Goodall tied for the lead after the opening round of the WPGA International Challenge, the final tournament on the 2014 Ladies European Tour Access Series (LETAS).
The pair carded matching rounds of three under par 69 in sunny, calm conditions at Stoke by Nayland Hotel Golf & Spa on the Essex and Suffolk border in East Anglia.
Ellis played solidly over her opening nine holes with birdies on the 2nd and 8th holes. The 28-year-old from Cockleford in Gloucestershire recorded a solitary bogey on the 7th hole before going on to make a magnificent eagle on the 397 yard par four 12th, holing her second shot.
She said: "My game was in a much better place today, especially after last week,” referring to an argument she had with some rocks that resulted in a calamitous first round of 88.
“I felt I played quite nicely today, I am really pleased. I think my putter made the difference today. I holed some good putts and actually missed a couple of birdie chances inside six feet so it could have been better. Nevertheless, I’ll settle for three-under.”
Goodall, 19, from Selby in Yorkshire, carded four birdies and one bogey to join Ellis at the top of the leader board.
France’s Melodie Bourdy and Daisy Nielsen from Denmark are tied for third place after their opening rounds of 70. The two players have different goals in mind this week. Bourdy is aiming to cement her position in the top 20 of the LETAS order of merit and earn a spot at the final stage of Lalla Aicha Tour School. Nielsen is hoping to secure her place in the top five of the LETAS ranking to earn her playing rights for the 2015 Ladies European Tour.
Five players are tied for fifth place: Ji-Hyun Suh from England, Sweden’s Anna Svenstrup, Tonje Daffinrud from Norway and Spanish players Maria Beautell and Marta Sanz-Barrio, who all opened with one under par 71s.Daffinrud, currently lying in seventh place on the order of merit, requires a strong finish this week to earn one of the coveted LET cards for next year.
The 23-year-old has played extremely consistently over the summer, with two back-to-back wins at the Azores Ladies Open and the Grecotel Amirandes Ladies Open.
Beautell and Sanz Barrio will both require a win this week to have a chance of gaining their LET cards. Less than 800 points separates the two Spanish players on the LETAS order of merit. There are two rounds to play, with the final round on Saturday.
Collated round 1 scores:
69 - Charlotte Ellis (ENG) 69, Ellie Goodall (ENG) 69
70 - Melodie Bourdy (FRA) 70, Daisy Nielsen (DNK) 70
71 - Tonje Daffinrud (NOR) 71, JI-HYUN Suh (ENG) 71, Maria Beautell (ESP) 71, Anna Svenstrup (SWE) 71, Marta Sanz Barrio (ESP) 71
72 - Sophie Keech (ENG) 72, Daniela Prorokova (CZE) 72, Lien Willems (BEL) 72, Isabella Ramsay (SWE) 72, Lina Boqvist (SWE) 72
73 - Maria Palacios (ESP) 73, Carmen Alonso (ESP) 73, Amber Ratcliffe (ENG) 73, Vittoria Valvassori (ITA) 73, Laura Murray (SCO) 73, Emma Westin (SWE) 73, Daisy Dyer-brierley (ENG) 73, Aditi Ashok (IND) 73
74 - Elisabetta Bertini (ITA) 74, Alison Nicholas (ENG) 74, Hannah Ralph (ENG) 74, Abbey Gittings (ENG) 74, Lianna Bailey (ENG) 74, Gemma Clews (ENG) 74, Georgia Hall (ENG) 74, Bethan Popel (ENG) 74, Charlotte Wild (ENG) 74
75 - Alice Hewson (ENG) 75, Ludovica Farina (ITA) 75, Rebecca Green (AUS) 75, Alexandra Peters (ENG) 75, Annabel Bailey (ENG) 75, Anna Rossi (ITA) 75, Hermione Fitzgerald (SWI) 75, Joanne Hodge (ENG) 75, Melissa Nicol (ENG) 75, Rachel Goodall (ENG) 75, Emma Nilsson (SWE) 75
76 - Sarah Carty (IRL) 76, Kiran Matharu (ENG) 76, Katie Rule (ENG) 76, Franziska Friedrich (GER) 76, Emma Goddard (ENG) 76, Marie Allen (ENG) 76, Sarah Attwood (ENG) 76, Kym Larratt (ENG) 76, India Clyburn (ENG) 76, Astrid Vayson De Pradenne (FRA) 76, Caroline Rominger (SWI) 76, Manon De Roey (BEL) 76, Hannah Moul (ENG) 76, Anna Christina Kindgren (COL) 76
77 - Gabriella Cowley (ENG) 77, Linda Henriksson (FIN) 77, Tamara Scheidegger (SWI) 77, Carolina Gonzalez Garcia (ESP) 77, Caroline Grady (ENG) 77, Melanie Maetzler (SWI) 77, Cloe Frankish (ENG) 77, Laure Sibille (FRA) 77
78 - Holly Calvert (ENG) 78, Laura Sanchez (COL) 78, Poppy Finlay (ENG) 78, Lauren Horsford (ENG) 78, Noni Stephen (SCO) 78, Marion Duvernay (FRA) 78, Jess Wilcox (ENG) 78, Tara Watters (ENG) 78
79 - Stephanie Mcevoy (ENG) 79, Emma Tayler (ENG) 79, Keely Chiericato (ENG) 79, Laurence Herman (BEL) 79, Stefania Avanzo (ITA) 79
80 - Rachel Drummond (ENG) 80, Alyson Mckechin (SCO) 80, Charlotte Hope (ENG) 80
81 - Tracey Boyes (ENG) 81, Lauren Blease (ENG) 81
82 - Jamie-Lee Casling (ENG) 82, Suzanne Dickens (ENG) 82
84 - Molly Lawrence (ENG) 84
85 - Linnea Torsson (SWE) 85, Sian James (ENG) 85, Sarah Smith (ENG) 85, Laura Harvey (ENG) 85, Leah Roelich (ENG) 85
86 - Chloe Rogers (ENG) 86
93 - Jemma Aldridge (ENG) 93
RTD - Maria Tulley (ENG)
Image: Adrian Milledge.