Date: March 11, 2010

Davies fires first shot in title defence

Round One Results Defending champion Laura Davies opened her title defence with a superb 5-under par 68 as the four-time Major winner made an immediate assault on the field at the Handa Women’s Australian Open at Commonwealth Golf Club. Davies, who began with a bogey, recovered immediately with a birdie on the 11th hole and birdied both the 16th and 17th holes to move to 2-under as she made the turn. A birdie on the par 5 second hole moved her to 3-under and she closed with a birdie on the seventh before rolling in a 30 foot putt for birdie on the ninth to complete her round of 68. I putted well last week but I did not hole anything. When you have two eight or nine-footers for par and they go straight in the middle, that&aposs the sort of thing that keeps me going. I had a really short one, a tap-in, on seven, Davies said. I&aposve come here in a confident mood, thinking I am one of the players with a chance to win if I play well and putt well – today is a perfect start, she added. Australian Rebecca Flood and Victorian amateur Alison Whitaker, who is based at Duke University in South Carolina, are among a handful of players sharing second place at 3-under par. World Number 28 Australian Lindsey Wright is tied with World Number 1 amateur Alexis Thompson and Austrian Stefanie Michl at 2-under par following rounds of 71. 15 year old Thompson, who was paired with Karrie Webb and Yani Tseng, said she wasn t overawed by the experience. I felt comfortable, except for my first tee shot when I was nervous but I got over it. It was a great group, Thompson said. Ten players are tied at 1-under par including Queensland s Katherine Hull, American Vicky Hurst and England s Melissa Reid. World Number 8 Karrie Webb recovered from three bogies in her opening nine holes to fire an even par 73 following four birdies on the front nine. World Number 6 Yani Tseng finished at 1-over par while World Number 7 Anna Nordqvist and compatriot Sophie Gustafson finished at 2-over par with rounds of 75. The second round begins on Friday.