Sixteen-year old amateur Rustenberg Bertine Strauss, lying three shots off the pace with a 4-under para 68 score, leads South Africans at the Acer Women’s SA Open being played at the Durban Country Club on Thursday.
Lee-Anne Pace leads the South African professional players with a -2 under 70, but it was Denmark’s Julie Tvede who leads the annual tournament by two shots ahead of England’s Rebecca Hudson and Swede Karin Borjeskog after the first round today.
In humid weather conditions, Tvede carded a first round score -7 under par 66 to go two shots clear of her nearest rivals." I hit them all fairly close today, and was really excited about the strength of my putting" said an ecstatic Tvede.
Tvede started well off the 1st tee and holed her first birdie from a fifteen-foot putt. On the par five 3rd hole, she reached the green in two and two putted for her next birdie. On both par fours on the 6th and 9th hole she sunk a further two birdies to go -4 under at the turn.
In a calm and similar fashion to that of her first nine, the back nine posed no problem. The Dane scored back to back birdies on both the par three 12th and par four 13th holes. Tvede’s seventh and final birdie of the day came on the 15th hole to end her day with a bogey free first round.
Winner of last week’s WPGA Masters, the 28 year old Hudson said, " I had some really good saves out there, and continued my game plan from last week’s event". A very relaxed Hudson also shot a bogey free first round. Playing off the 1st tee Hudson parred her 1st hole, and then hit a six iron in on the par three 2nd hole to sink a brilliant ten foot putt.
On both the par five 3rd and 5th holes, she went on to card two more birdies, turning on -3 under. On the back nine, par four 16th hole, Hudson hit a rescue club into the green to within ten foot, and took full advantage and pocketed yet another birdie.
On the 18th Hudson she pitched in to about forty yards and holed a magnificent twenty foot putt for her final birdie of the day.
"The course is known for its swirling wind on the back nine, but it was so light today, it didn’t bother me. The humidity did – but I really did enjoy it out there" stated Hudson.
The second round starts at 07h00 at the Durban Country Club tomorrow, with the overnight leaders off at 09h10.