Date: May 18, 2007

No stopping our Nikki

By Alistair Hogg Australian Nikki Garrett has fired an opening round 68 to be four under and co-leader at the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open. Garrett&aposs round included four birdies an an eagle as the 23-year old chases her third consecutive LET title. Starting from the 10th tee, Garrett knocked down two birdies in her opening three holes to give her already soaring confidence another boost. The Australian dropped a stroke at the par-four 16th before hitting back in spectacular style after the turn. Garrett managed to birdie the par-five first before finding the hole in three strokes to card an eagle at the third. The 30-foot putt from the back of the green was one of the main highlights of her round. A bogey at the fifth threatened to undo her good work, but Garrett once again hit back with a birdie to maintain the pressure on the other leaders. The Australian is in the clubhouse at four-under along with Wales&apos Eleanor Pilgrim, German Bettina Hauert and Swiss hope Frederique Seeholzer. It is early days yet, but if Garrett can conjure another win this week, she will become only the second player in LET history to win three consecutive titles. The last, and only time this has happened was when Frenchwoman Marie-Laure de Lorenzi won three-in-a-row in 1989. Although the 23-year-old was displaying the form that saw her in in Tenerife and Castellon the last few weeks, Garrett said she was still recovering from an illness. “I haven&apost felt good all day and I&aposve still got the sickness I had on Monday,” she said. “I&aposm at the lethargic stage where I&aposve got no energy. I didn&apost try to out hit myself today. I just kept within myself and found some fairways. I sunk some good putts and a couple of long ones.” If the sick and lethargic Garrett can shoot opening rounds of four under, Australia would love to see what the healthy and exuberant Garrett is capable of. Shani Waugh also had a great opening round carding a two-under 70, while Sarah Kemp and Anna Rawson are in the hunt at one-under. Leader board after the first round of the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open at Losone: -4: Eleanor Pilgrim (Wales), Nikki Garrett (Australia), Bettina Hauert (Germany), Frederique Seeholzer (Switzerland) -3: Lora Fairclough (England), Federica Piovano (Italy), Diana Luna (Italy), Elisabeth Esterl (Germany) -2: Shani Waugh (Australia), Elizabeth McKinnon (New Zealand), Ursula Wikstrom (Finland) -1: Sarah Kemp (Australia), Becky Brewerton (Wales), Felicity Johnson (England), Marina Arruti (Spain), Karen Lunn (Australia), Laura Cabanillas (Spain), Asa Gottmo (Sweden)