Felicity Johnson leads the way at Vic Open in Australia

LPGA Tour

England’s Felicity Johnson holds a two-shot lead after the first round of the LPGA’s new-look ISPS Handa Vic Open.

This is the first year that the Vic Open is debuting its innovative new format, which sees men and women contesting separate championships at 13th Beach Golf Links in Barwon Heads, Victoria, for equal prize money.

All four rounds are played in alternating men’s and women’s tee times on the Beach and Creek Courses.

Playing her first round at the Creek Course, Johnson made eight birdies in a bogey-free 65 to take a two-shot lead over American Kim Kaufman, Canada’s Anne-Catherine Tanguay and South Korean-born Australian Su Oh, who had a hole-in-one at the 10th during her round.

“I came in having had a good year, then I had two months off so I’ve had enough rest,” said 22-year-old Oh, who finished 45th on the 2018 LPGA Tour money list.

“I came in having had a good year, then I had two months off so I’ve had enough rest.

“I’ve done so much practice and time off, whether I play well or not I just want to play and get some proper feedback.”

Tied for fifth a further shot back are Haru Nomura, Manon De Roey, Alison Lee, Olivia Cowan and South Korean amateur Yae Eun Hong.

As many as 12 players follow in a tie for 10th on four under, four back, including another amateur, Australian Stephanie Kiriacou.

Leading the way in the men’s competition is Australian Nick Flanagan, who lies two shots clear after a spectacular 10-under-par 62.