French amateur Lucie André and English professional Rachel Bell are tied for the lead on three under par after the opening day’s play at the La Nivelle Ladies Open at Golf de la Nivelle near Biarritz in France.
The duo sit one stroke clear of Belgium’s Lara Tadiotto and France’s Julie Greciet at two under, with three French players a stroke further back in a tie for fifth: Anne-Lise Caudal, Julie Maisongrosse and Caroline Afonso.
André, who won the German Amateur Championship in May and who leads the Challenge Catherine Lacoste as the leading amateur on the GENERALI Ladies Tour, was out in 33 after four birdies and a bogey on the front nine. She came back in level par 34 despite a double bogey at the par four 12th hole.
She said that she didn’t drive the ball very well but was pleased with the way she hit her irons and made a lucky birdie on the final hole. After driving her ball under a little pine tree, which was staked, she had a drop and hit her second shot over the green, before chipping in for a birdie.
That took her to level with Bell, who played in slight drizzle in the morning. Bell played the front nine in level par 36 on the 5584-yard par 70 course, after matching three birdies with three bogeys. However she birdied three holes on the back nine, coming home in three under 31.
Australian Karen Lunn, who is playing on the LET Access Series for the first time and is one of the most decorated players in the field with eight Ladies European Tour victories, started the three round event with a round of 75, playing in the slightly breezier afternoon conditions. Second round play begins at 8:50 on Thursday, with the last group out at 12:19.