Melissa Reid’s opening tee shot on the 13th Beach Creek course this morning marked the first time the Englishwoman had laid eyes on the course.
But, some meticulous planning by her caddy Benji – the partner of Australian golfer Whitney Hillier – on Wednesday afternoon ensured Reid was able to weave her around the layout successfully in the opening round of the Oates Vic Open.
A bogey on her final hole, the ninth, was the only blemish on Reid’s scoreboard as she made a strong start to the tournament, posting a six-under par 67.
The 29-year-old is a five-time winner on the Ladies European Tour but will play 2017 in America after securing her LPGA card late last year at qualifying school.
Reid trails good friend and countrywoman Dame Laura Davies by two shots mid-way through the first day.
Coincidently, the pair are among a group sharing a house together this week in Barwon Heads.
“It will be a happy household tonight which will be good,” Reid quipped after her round with Davies’ round of eight-under 65 equalling the Creek course record.
“I actually didn’t hit it that great – it sounds a bit weird – until the last 4 holes.
“I kind of went back to an old swing thought that I played with in Bahamas and (LPGA) Q-School as well because I felt like I hit it well in those two events.
“The last four holes I struck it really well. I was a bit unfortunate to finish with a bogey but overall six under is not too bad.
“I played it completely blind, but I’ve got a good guy on the bag in Benji, he did all the preparation for me which was good.”
Reid impressed during Wednesday’s pro-am event, shooting seven-under in her group around the Beach course which will hold her in good stead for the next three days.
It’s her first visit to Barwon Heads and appearance in the Oates Vic Open but has only heard great reports about the concept.
“I think it’s fantastic. The courses are great, especially the Beach course. I think it’s stunning,” Reid said.
“There needs to be more tournaments where the men and women combine together and it’s really good publicity.
“All the girls and caddies have said what a fantastic event this is and I wasn’t going to miss out this year and worked out perfectly in my scheduling.”