Young amateur Tereza Melecka recorded an impressive opening 67, to take the first round lead in the AXA Czech Ladies Challenge at Golf Resort Konopiste, near Bystrice in the Czech Republic.
The 19-year-old who is attending East Tennessee State University in the United States, produced an impressive bogey free round, recording birdies on the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 10th and 14th holes.
Melecka has struggled with her golf during her first twelve months at university but returned home during her break to see her coach, making some small changes, which are starting to pay off.
She commented, “I putted really good. I didn’t care if it was two metres or five I made it and I was pretty close to the hole all the time. The driver didn’t work so well. Yesterday I hit it straight like all the time, today I struggled with it a little bit.”
“I feel good, tomorrow I will try to hit the fairway and then the green and try to make the putt, that’s all. I don’t want to be nervous, like if I will play bad I am ready for it so I will try my best.”
Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini, Sharmila Nicollet of India and France's Emilie Piquot are tied for 2nd place at 4 under par after opening 68’s. Nicollet was considering withdrawing after just a few holes, needing to seek medical treatment on the course after injuring her foot whilst hitting a shot. She managed to complete 18 holes and headed straight to the physiotherapist.
“The course is really good. I think it suits my game with the wide fairways and the short approaches to the pin. I think the putting is the tough part and if you can figure that out, it’s a good course to score. I really enjoyed playing today as much as being in a different zone today, I think that really helped me take the pressure off my golf. I was focusing on the pain and hoping the pain would get better, I think that helped,” said Nicollet.
Dlamini was also pleased with her first day’s performance after struggling recently to put a score together, although she felt she was hitting the ball well.
“I’ve been striking it well but struggling when it comes to tournaments so I’ve finally found the rhythm, I’ve been hitting it good. I’ve decided to not expect too much from myself because I’ve been striking it well, practicing, putting in all the work so the work is finally showing off today. And I’ll keep doing the same moving forward. Tomorrow the same game plan, same attitude so don’t expect too much from yourself and just do your best.”
“I had a really good round, solid. I hit a lot of fairways today and my game plan was pretty good. The course isn’t that difficult in terms of hitting fairways, but your strategy off the tee box has to be good. I hit quite a lot of three woods as well and a lot of fairways to give myself an opportunity to get it closer to the hole and hit some good putts as well.”
Seven players, Frenchwomen Emma Grechi and Marion Benzekri, Tonje Daffinrud from Norway, India's Vani Kapoor, Sophie Keech from England, Heather Stirling of Scotland and Sweden's Cajsa Persson, are currently tied for 5th at 3 under par.
Defending champion, Lucie Andre scored her fourth career hole in one on the par three 10th hole, winning 10,000CZK of jewellery from hole sponsor Auto-Brejla.