South Africa’s Morgana Robbertze leads the first round in the Ladies African Tour’s first event with Uganda’s Nora Kagonyera, after both scored a 4 under-par opening round of 68 at the WPGA Masters, being played at the Parkview Golf Club in Johannesburg.
Robbertze played off the first tee and started well with a two-put birdie on the 1st hole, a short par five, a start that gave her momentum for the rest of the day, and a new putting grip having a lot to do with her upbeat performance.
Kagonyera did not have a good start off the first tee, going into the bunker twice before pulling back her game with a birdie on the 11th hole and even parring through the rest of the back nine.
At the turn Kagonyera said on the 10th hole " I had a beautiful drive to the fairway, hit my second shot with a rescue club onto the green and bunged in an eagle!" Remaining calm to par the next two holes, she pulled her tee shot again with a three wood, but managed to hit the ball out of the rough, and just missed a par to card her only bogey.
Kagonyera then went onto to birdie the 5th hole a par three, but mentions that her best hole was on the 6th, where she managed to pull out of the woods, and safely back onto the fairway, saving a par.
Just one shot off the pace is Norwegian Lill Kristen Saether and local girl Lee-Anne Pace with a first round score of 69. Pace, who struggled with stomach cramps, actually carded a bogey free round with two birdies one on the 11th hole and stuck it within six foot and aced the putt. And again on the 13th where she hit made the green to drop a one-metre putt for her second birdie.
Saether, just back from playing in Australia, hit the ball really well today, although did miss a few long putts, which could have seen her on top of the leader board after round one.
Satisfied with her round, Saether said: "I will stick to my plan tomorrow, which is the way I played in the practice rounds, and look forward to a solid performance tomorrow."
Rookie on tour this year is Tsbeo Betty Mokoena who is lying eight off the pace, was tensed-up at the start, but after the first three holes gave herself a talking to, and managed to pull her game back.
Mokoena admitted that although she is very happy with her game, but needs to work on her approach shot. 18-year-old Ashleigh Simon was 3 over at the turn, and in true Simon style, made five birdies in a row on the back nine – on holes 11 through 15 to finish on a 71, one under par alongside leading amateur Gina Switala.
Defending champion from Finland Kaisa Ruuttila finished her first round on two over par, 74.
The second round of the WPGA Masters starts at 07h00, with the leaders off from 09h00 at Parkview Golf Club, Johannesburg tomorrow.