Spain’s Silvia Banon has had a relatively quiet season so far. Four events, one missed cut and a tied 11th in Finland last month. During the opening round of the €35,000 Belfius Ladies Open, she shot her lowest round of the year. A bogey-free six-under 65 at the par 71 Rinkven Golf Club gave her the solo lead for the first time in a LETAS event.
“The strength of my game today were the tee shots and irons. There wasn't any turning point because I was focused only to hit the ball where I wanted and without thinking too much. My game plan for tomorrow is stay calm and thinking shot by shot without anticipating the next shot and enjoying the round."
The Spanish woman is currently 44th on the 2017 LETAS Order of Merit.
Right behind Banon was the OOM leader, England’s Meghan Maclaren who carded four birdies against one bogey to lie three back. Maclaren who started on the back nine, bogied the seventh hole, something that she wasn’t very pleased about.
“It was my sixteenth hole of the day, and having gone so long without making a bogey, apart from also making birdie to get to four under just moments before, is very frustrating.”
Despite the late setback, she was happy with how she played, giving credit to her short game.
“A few crucial up and downs during my first few holes kept the momentum going, helping me get off to a solid start.”
Maclaren is enjoying a stellar season with one win in the Azores Ladies Open and a tied 3rd place at the VP Bank Ladies Open in Switzerland on the LET Access Series.
Tied with the Englishwoman is Czech Sideri Vanova who shot an identical three-under, 68.
Germany’s Chiara Mertens opened with a two-under 69 to open her week tied 4th with three other players. One double-bogey derailed what was otherwise in her words a satisfactory round.
“I almost made a hole-in-one on the third hole which I birdied. My pitching also helped keep the round together.”
Home favourite Manon de Roey shot a one-under 70 and is tied eighth with seven others. Also on the same score is the leading amateur, Celine Manche from Belgium. The projected cut after day one is +4.