Leena Makkonen Photo Credit: Maria Beautell
On Friday, during the opening round of the EVLI Ladies Finnish Open, Tiia Koivisto and Leena Makkonen both shot bogey-free four-unders to share the lead with Frenchwoman Astrid Vayson De Pradenne.
Koivisto who grew up a mere hour away from the tournament site in Mantsala, Finland, credits local course knowledge and good putting for the fast start.
“I like the course and have played there many times. The greens are in good condition despite the cold spring. I played the practice rounds, though knowing it well meant not taking too many notes. This is my first bogey-free round, and I give credit to my short game – especially the putting.”
Her co-leaders Vayson de Pradenne and Makkonen also played flawlessly on a day that was foggy to begin with but cleared up to reveal bright sunshine and a light breeze.
Rounding up Finland’s top-two was Makkonen who made five birdies against a sole bogey to make it a three-way tie. She has played five events this season, and made three cuts. Her best finish on the LET Access Series is 10th at the 2015 CreditGate24 GolfSeries Hamburg Open.
“It was one of those perfect rounds.” said Vayson de Pradenne. “Not a single bogey on the card – I only missed four greens today. Felt very confident with my chipping and putting.”
The 32-year old from Avignon, France has gone MC-52-MC-MC this year. Work with a new putting coach has helped her turn things around this year.
Further down the leaderboard at three-under are Laura Sanchez Zuluaga from Colombia and Ellinoora Moisio, who is also the leading amateur from Finland.
Sixteen golfers are under par after round one while eight are at par in a field of 121 players.