Date: February 02, 2012
Author: Australian Ladies Professional Golf

ALPG/LET – LEE LEADS AFTER LOW SCORING 1ST ROUND

(2 February 2012 – Gold Coast, Australia)

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South Korea&aposs Bo-Mee Lee holds a one shot advantage after a flawless opening round today at the Gold Coast RACV Australian Ladies Masters being played at Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast. The 23-year-old fired a bogey free 7-under par 65 to lead fellow South Koreans, So Yeon Ryu and Hee Kyung Seo and Christel Boeljon from the Netherlands, who are tied in second on 6-under par 66.

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Lee, who was the Korean LPGA player of the Year in 2010 now plies her trade on the Japanese circuit, said today’s round was one where everything just worked, “Good driver, good irons, putting was good. It was easy, easy today,” she said.

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Compatriot, Ryu was also bogey free with a 6-under par 66 and admitted to being nervous at the start of her first tournament for 2012 but said a birdie on her third hole of the day, the 501m par five 12th hole, settled her down. “I sunk my birdie putt and then I can finally relax,” she said.

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I think it was a really great round. It was a really lovely day for me.”

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The 2011 US Open champion said her early round nerves was brought on by the pressure to perform. “A lot of people have really high expectations for me so I am a little bit worried about it,” she said. “I really try hard and I am really training hard but if I hit it bad, a lot of people are disappointed for me.”

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The 21-year -old added she was pleasantly surprised at the state of the Royal Pines layout given it has been soaked by relentless rain for the past week, “I can’t believe it because yesterday the course was too wet but today it was a lot better.”

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Canberra’s Nikki Campbell was pleased with her opening round of 5 under 67 after a difficult year on the Japanese Tour in 2011. “I felt that the second half of last year, I was just going through the motions and not there to compete,” she said.

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“I struggled a bit, and I just felt really lonely.” After a long break from the sticks Campbell, who finished second at Royal Pines last year, said she was happy with her opening round. “I probably had a few loose shots coming in, but that didn’t lose me anything,” she said.

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I think if you have a good round, you have a few things go your way, so that was nice.”

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It was a bogey free round by Campbell who is joined by fellow Australian Stephanie Na, England’s Felicity Johnson and American sensation Lexi Thompson in a tie for 5th.

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It was Thompson who won the battle of the teen queens pairing today, the 16-year-old professional shading the 14-year-old amateur Lydia Ko, with a five under round of 67 to Ko’s two under 70.

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The New Zealand world amateur number one who created history last week by becoming the youngest winner of a professional tournament, did well to back up after last weeks’ Bing Lee/Samsung Women’s NSW Open victory. It was a grinding round of five birdies and three bogeys, a five on the final hole, the difficult long par 4 9th, ending her day on a sour note.

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The likeable teenager has stated her aim this week is to just make the cut, a prospect that looks good after her first round which left her in a tie for 23rd.

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Australian Kristie Smith, the third player in that grouping struggled around the course with a two over round of 74 and sits in a tie for 97th. Sitting just three shots off the lead on 4 under 68 is the Australian trio of Frances Bondad, Sarah Kemp and Courtney Massey.

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Of the other notables in the field, France’s Gwladys Nocera is in a tie for 12th on 3 under with Christina Kim, while 2009 Masters Champion, Katherine Hull is on 2-under par 70 with 2011 Kraft Nabisco Champion, American Stacy Lewis, while three times Masters winner, Laura Davies, is a shot further back on one under 71.

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The weather is expected to hold for the next three days and with a drier course expect some even lower scores at the Gold Coast RACV Ladies Masters tomorrow.
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