Sweden's Julia Engstrom and Laura Sanchez Zuluaga of Colombia, are tied for the lead at three under par after the first round of the Belfius Ladies Open, at Royal Bercuit Golf Club in Grez-Doiceau.
Engstrom, already a winner this year on the LET Access Series, got off to a slow start with a bogey on the 481 yard par five 2nd hole. The 17-year-old then recorded birdies on the 8th, 12th, 14th and 17th to finish at three under par.
The current leader of the rookie ranking on the Ladies European Tour was pleased with the progress made during the first round.
“It was pretty steady I didn’t make so many mistakes and then I made a few putts and the times I missed some shots I could save a par, and then I holed a chip on 17. I think it’s a pretty tricky course where a lot can happen. You can’t really relax for any shots. I hit many irons from tees just to have a good second shot. I gave myself pretty good positions to hit a good second shot so my ball striking today was very solid. It was nice because I think it’s important on this course to hit the ball good because it’s a tricky course, it’s pretty tight as well,” Engstrom commented.
Sanchez Zuluaga started her round strongly with an eagle on the 4th hole, followed by three bogeys and four birdies to equal Engstrom’s 69. The Colombian admitted to feeling a little nervous at the beginning of her round but a great three wood, which set up her eagle settled her nerves.
“It was crazy, I was nervous at the beginning of the round. I just had the butterflies going and kept telling myself just focus on your routine and just whatever happens happens, you don’t have to do anything just take away the pressure of yourself. You’re just here to hit shot by shot and that’s what I did on my first holes. I just tried to make pars and then on number four I had a nice eagle I didn’t expect it.”
“I stayed patient the whole day and kept going and a few birdies came in my last holes. And I had a three on number 18, which really made me happy. Oh my gosh what a hole.”
England’s Gabriella Cowley and Stina Resen of Norway, are tied for third place at two under par, with five players, Lucrezia Colombotto Rosso of Italy, England’s Rosie Davies, Laura Fuenfstueck of Germany, Mathilde Cappeliez of France and Sweden’s Emma Nilsson, all tied at one under par in fifth position.