Swiss amateur pair Elena Moosmann and Klara Wildhaber sit atop the leaderboard after shooting stunning five-under-par rounds of 67 in the opening day’s play at the VP Bank Ladies Open.
19-year-old Wildhamer played near faultless golf through 16 holes to lie six-under before a bogey at the 17th cost her the outright tournament lead. Opening with a birdie on the 1st, the youngster continued to impress, and found a hot streak with the putter on the 9th, carding three birdies in four holes.
“I hit my irons pretty close and my putting obviously was a strength. I think I’ll forget today and start from scratch again tomorrow with the same confidence”
Wildhaber’s feat is all the more impressive as this only her second professional tournament having previously played in the same event two years ago. Reflecting on her previous appearance at the event, the 19-year-old said:
“I needed to trust myself more. I think I’m handling the nerves better – I was very nervous two years ago! I was nervous again today but I’m getting used to that feeling”
Compatriot Enena Moosmann also shot a superb five-under round, with an eagle on the 339-yard par-4 second hole the highlight of a terrific round. Aged just 17-years-old, Moosmann showed incredible poise on the greens, sinking birdie putts at holes six and seven to lie three-under at the half-way mark. The young player followed up a stellar front-nine with a similarly impressive back-nine to join Wildhaber at five-under overall.
“It was a really nice round and my putting was good, and my driving but my putting was very good! Tomorrow, I’ll just do the same, be happy and have fun, and just play.”
Having begun playing the game aged-10, Moosmann looks destined to be a star of the future and along with Wildhaber the Swiss duo both harbour ambitions to make waves in professional game and hope to secure tour cards after completing their studies. Ladies golf in Switzerland certainly appears to be in rude health based on the impressive opening day’s play at the VP Bank Ladies Open.
Behind the leading pair lie five players in a tie for third position one shot further back on four-under. Among them are English trio Katrina Gillum, Georgia Price and Gemma Clews, who will be hoping to back up an impressive opening round to put the pressure on their amateur counterparts heading into the final day’s play.
One of the pre-tournament favourites Sarah Schober had a round to forget on the Swiss course. After victory in the LETAS series opening event, the Terre Blanche Ladies Open, the 27-year-old could only card a four-over round after hitting five bogeys on the back nine to head into the clubhouse needing some exceptional golf to get back into contention.
The Austrian will be disappointed after day one having hoped to put on an impressive display in what could be classed as a home event with GC Gams-Werdenberg just a few kilometres from the Austrian border.
Saturday sees the players competing over 18 holes of stroke play once again, with the leading 48 players moving into the final stage of the tournament. With the introduction a brand new format for 2019 – the sixth edition of the LETAS series event, the remaining players will then tackle three 9-hole match play matches with the winner at the end of the final day’s play the beneficiary of 5000 crucial points in the Road to LaLargue.