LPGA Tour: On day one of the Cambia Portland Classic, Gemma Dryburgh of Scotland shares the early first-round lead with Carlota Ciganda, while Dame Laura Davies, 57, is just two shots back.
Dryburgh, a three-time winner on the Rose Ladies Series, opened with a four-under 68 to share the clubhouse lead with Solheim Cup star Ciganda, while Davies shot a respectable 70 alongside fellow veteran Trish Johnson.
Dryburgh’s round was highlighted by a 98-yard eagle putt on the seventh hole, and she also had five birdies to three bogeys as she took the lead in an LPGA Tour tournament for the first time.
“I’m overjoyed,” the 28-year-old stated. “That was a fantastic one because I actually holed out on the seventh hole. It was fantastic that many were watching as well.
“I had 98 yards and simply hit a small gap-wedge that I nailed. When I first saw it on the green, I thought it was going long, but it fell perfectly just short of the pin and went straight in like a small putt, so it was beautiful.
“And on the previous hole, I made a great bogey putt, so that helped keep the momentum going.” So I put one under and then made a few birdies, including a small tap-in birdie on the last, which was wonderful.
“I’m simply trying to avoid getting ahead of myself.” As I previously stated, take one shot at a time and repeat the process. It’ll be in the afternoon, so perhaps we’ll be able to make use of the warmer weather, although I’m sure the wind will pick up. We’ll have to wait and see.”
Ciganda produced seven birdies in a round marred by a double-bogey six at the 14th, a blunder that cost her the outright lead, and the Spaniard was also pleased to see Davies in contention.
The 57-year-old defied her age on a tough West Linn course, making birdies on two of the opening three holes and replying to missed shots at 11 and 15 with birdies at the 16th – where she holed from 30 feet – and the 18th. Johnson, 55, was making her LPGA Tour debut as a caddie.
“Obviously, it’s a lot more difficult for Trish – she’s no spring bird either,” Davies added. “It’s just difficult walking, but it’s the same for everyone; you have to get around no matter how old you are.”
“I must admit, I found it taxing in practice the other day, but when you’re playing and trying to hit nice shots, you don’t notice the hills. Maybe you notice the hills when you’re not playing well, but today because I was hitting it well, it was just a wonderful even keel and the speed of play was excellent.”
Soon after the Solheim Cup, Johnson offered to caddie for Davies, who was vice-captain of the triumphant European team while Johnson was working as a Sky Sports pundit and reporter.
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