Klatten leads the way
Last updated: 2nd November 2012
Joanna Klatten of France grabbed the first round lead at the Sanya Ladies Open in China on Friday, with an opening round three under par 69 at Yalong Bay Golf Club in Hainan.
The 27-year-old from Paris ended a hot and blustery first round one shot ahead of countrywoman Celine Palomar and Numa Gulyanamitta of Thailand, while a further seven players shared fourth place a shot further back.
Klatten shot four birdies and a bogey on her tournament debut and said that her prodigious length off the tee was an advantage.
"I don't think I've ever driven the ball this well," she said, adding that her long drives allowed her to hit low punch shots into the greens. Her longest drive, on the par-four 18th hole, which was playing down wind, measured 290 metres.
"I feel like I had a lot less work to do than my playing partners because they often had woods to hit into the par fours and I often had short irons so I'm very pleased with my round today.
"I've been getting too technical so now my coach wants me not to think about anything other than the target. I'm playing a little more quickly and it helps: you get in front of the ball and grip it and rip it."
Another long hitting Frenchwoman, Jade Schaeffer, was four-under par after 15 holes but a bogey, par, double-bogey finish saw her end her round at one under, alongside Germany's Caroline Masson, Australian Sarah Kemp, Finland's Minea Blomqvist, Becky Brewerton of Wales and English duo Rebecca Hudson and Felicity Johnson.
Current ISPS Handa order of merit leader Carlota Ciganda from Spain opened with a 72 but was pleased as she rated the conditions as the second toughest this season after the Ricoh Women's British Open at Hoylake.
"I think it was a good round for today because it was really tough out there. It was even tough on the greens because, although the balls were not moving, it was uncomfortable," said Ciganda.
Defending champion Frances Bondad was tied for 27th four shots off the lead but was pleased with her opening 73, despite dropping two shots in the last three holes.
"I hit the ball really well and just the last few holes I got tired," Bondad said.
"Actually, I feel really good just being here with the memories from last year. It was really tough out there with the wind so I'm happy with the way I played. I wasn't expecting anything great and I'd be happy with a top ten finish."
Meanwhile South African Lee-Anne Pace, who won the inaugural tournament in 2010, withdrew shortly before her tee time through injury.
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