Australian Nikki Garrett holds a three stroke lead in Spain after she set a blistering pace with a career-low round of eight under par 64 in Round 1 at the Tenerife Open de Espa a Femenino at Golf Las Am ricas. Garrett was out in the first group from the 10th at 8.30am and played flawless golf on a beautiful day, with temperatures at 27C and little breeze. She birdied 11, 16 and 17 for a back nine total of three under before picking up five birdies on the front nine, with three in a row to close from the seventh. I just played really solid the whole day. I hit a lot of greens, hit a few close shots that I really capitalised on and sunk the putts. I chipped in out of the bunker on my eighth hole, which is 17, so just everything went well, said the 28-year-old from Shelly Beach, New South Wales. Garrett has an excellent record in Spain having won the 2007 Tenerife Ladies Open at Golf Del Sur and then the Open de Espa a Femenino at Sergio Garcia s home course, Country Club Mediterr neo in Castell n, the following week. She tied for second behind Becky Brewerton in a non-official Ladies European Tour matchplay event at Golf Las Am ricas last June and clearly relishes playing in Spain. I love Tenerife, I love Spain. I had both my wins in Tenerife, Spain, so it feels a lot like home. I m always very relaxed when I play in this part of the world, said Garrett. To come second last year and go out there and I really like the course, so I was really relaxed. The 2006 Rookie of the Year explained how she recently started hitting her drives from the turf rather than from a tee in a similar style to Laura Davies. I ve been teeing it up a little bit like Laura the last two and a half weeks and I think for me, thats been a bit of a key, because I ve been playing it well from after the driver, so to get things in the fairway, a good score was bound to happen sooner or later. I ve always practised hitting driver off the deck as a kid, just for fun and just because you want to try and do something different. I think I just commit to it more. I had a lesson last week at the British Open off Gerald (Adams), Laura s caddie, how to do the grass properly, so I ve got it down packed a little bit now. It’s a lot harder here because the grass sprays everywhere but it s just a confidence thing and as long as it goes in the fairway I don t really care. Trish Johnson, the 2010 Tenerife Ladies Open champion at Buenavista Golf Club in the north of the island, was at five under after a 67 containing six birdies and one bogey. Italian Veronica Zorzi, South African Lee-Anne Pace and Germany s Miriam Nagl carded four under par 68s to lie in a share of third place.
Author: Ladies European Tour