Date: October 09, 2008

Sweden scorch the field

Sweden jumped out to a 10-stroke lead over Spain after shooting a record-equalling 9-under-par 137 in the first round of the 2008 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship at The Grange Golf Club’s East and West Courses. Japan was third while Austria, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Scotland and defending champion South Africa were tied for fourth. With a 6-under-par 67 from Carolina Hedwall and 3-under-par 70 from Anna Nordqvist, the Swedes, playing on the par-73 East Course, tied a championship mark for lowest score in the first round that is shared by Canada (2004) and Japan (2006). Their 10-stroke lead through 18 holes is the largest in championship history, surpassing the five-stroke margin of the USA in 1972 and 1982. We are young but we are very experienced, Swedish captain Walter Danewid said. I was not expecting it but I was not surprised. We will stay focused. Hedwall, 19, who is a first-year student at Oklahoma State in the USA, had the best score of the day, which included seven birdies against just one bogey. She explained her performance by saying: I hit it close to the pin and made a lot of birdies. Nordqvist, 21, also posted seven birdies and began by bogeying her first two holes. This is a really good start, Nordqvist said. I have a lot of confidence in this team. In addition, Pernilla Lindberg shot a 1-under-par 72, which was not counted. We were kidding that we could sell my score to another team for an expensive price, Lindberg said. In 2008, Nordqvist and Lindberg won college All-American honors in the USA at Florida State University and Oklahoma State University, respectively. On the West Course, Spain gained second place when Azahara Munoz shot a 1-under-par 71 and Belen Mozo posted a 2-over 74. Spain is the only nation with the same team as 2006. Host nation Australia posted a 5-over 149 on the par-72 West Course and was tied for 13th place.