Date: March 01, 2018
Author: Dave Tease

Holy Molle, it’s Manon by two

A Frenchwoman via Morocco leads The Women's NSW Open by two midway through round one at Coffs Harbour Golf Club.

Manon Molle recorded a total of six birdies and only one bogey as she posted a course record fine under par 66 in warm and sultry conditions that were ideal for scoring.

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Molle didn't get off to the best of starts after starting from the first tee in the morning half of the field, posting her only blemish of the day, a bogey five on the par four second. It was all plain sailing for the Frenchwoman from there however, as she made a pair of birdies on the sixth and ninth holes to make the turn in red at one under par.

A birdie on the 11th helped her into a share of the lead at two under, and when she made consecutive birdies on the 15th, 16th, and 17th, the outright lead was hers by two.

"I'm really happy with that round.

"I started with a bogey and made a lot of birdies at the end which helped me, "Molle said.

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Two shots behind Molle sits a trio of players including Sweden's Carmilla Lenarth, Thailand's Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras and Queensland's Emily McLennan.

McLennan, who is in her second year on tour after graduating from the University of Tennessee, was pleasantly surprised with her opening three under par round.

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"I haven't had to do this for a while," she smiled when asked to from the media post-round.

"I didn't hit my irons solidly, but I holed a lot of great putts. "I made some good saves and a made a bunch of good birdies out there.

"I just tried to play solid golf all day," McLennan smiled.

The Queenslander is hoping to keep the putter hot as the tournament progresses.

"Hopefully the putter will stay working and I can hit a few more good iron shots," McLennan smiled.

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Thailand's Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras followed up last week's impressive result at Bonville with a solid opening 3 under par 68. The young Thai was happy with her game and said the climate and condition of the course felt a lot like playing in her home country.

"I hit a lots of greens today and made some putts.

"This course is similar to courses in Thailand," Pannarat said.

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Camilla Lenarth, too, was satisfied with her round of 68 considering the warm conditions. The Swede said it was far more preferable playing in the Coffs Harbour heat than having to endure the current cold snap back at home.

"I like this a lot more than I like the snow. It's so much better, so I'll take this!" she smiled.

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