France’s Ariane Provot shot a stunning four-under round of 68 to take the outright lead on day one at the Golf de Lavaux course in Puidoux, Switzerland. Provot attacked the course from the off with aggressive approach play into the greens. All in all, the Frenchwoman scored seven birdies, including three in a row on holes 5-thru-7, and three bogeys to end –4, one clear of the chasers:
“I played really well. I stayed positive, stayed focused. We really tried to keep on going focused with my caddie - my boyfriend. He's always saying to me 'just stay focused, stay focused, just breath and stay focused.' And this is all I need I think!”
Having her boyfriend on the bag is a recent change for Provot and she cites his calming instructions as a major reason behind her good form in round one:
“He is with me for three weeks now, we just started to work really well together, and this is continuing. I think I deserved to play well but I needed someone to tell me "you're playing well, just keep focused, you can do it!". He's really nice with me, I need him I think."
Finland’s Sanna Nuutinen and Sweden’s Viva Schlasberg ended the opening day’s play with a share of second place at Lavaux, after shooting impressive three-under-par rounds of 69. The pair were joined on –3 by Scotland’s Rachel Taylor and Valentine Derrey of France.
Nuutinen was the first player in the clubhouse at –3 after a near flawless round, her only bogey coming at the fourth - a tough 432-yard par-4. Aside from the one blemish, the Finn made light work of the Swiss course, with long drives setting up birdies on two of three par-5's. Having missed the cut last time out at the Jabra Ladies Open, Nuutinen credits her quick upturn in fortunes to the hard work done with her coach in the lead up to Lavaux:
“I was hitting it really good which makes me happy because last week was a struggle. At Evian, I had my coach with me on the bag, so we did a lot of technical swing work after the tournament. I kind of got it together in three days, so I'm proud of myself!”
The fifth-year pro was clearly very happy with her opening gambit at Lavaux, and was eager to get back out to practice ahead of Thursday’s second round at the Puidoux course:
“I'm going to go and work on my ball-striking on the range because now I obviously know what to do to get better! So, I'm going to work on the same stuff and then just go out tomorrow and try and hit it as good as today.”
Joining the Finn on three-under is fellow Scandinavian Viva Schlasberg. Looking back on her round, the Swede recognised the benefits of staying calm throughout the 18 holes, something that’s been lacking in the past:
“It was amazing! No, it was very chilled, and I had the goal to stay very chilled, like my attitude. I can get pretty angry, so in the beginning I was missing a lot of birdie putts, but I kept calm and let it happen.
I will try to stay mentally focused because that's the main key for me because my emotions are up and down everywhere!”
In her eighth year on LETAS, Schlasberg will be hoping to draw on all her experience over the next two days. The Swede is well-aware of what is required going into round two:
“I think to be good from the tee but then to not get frustrated about not making the putts because there will be some. It's a little bit hard to read them, they steer away a little bit even if you hit them on the line. So, just from the tee and then be patient.”
Heading into the second round on Thursday, there is all to play for with twelve players within two shots of overnight leader Provot. The first players will tee off at 8:00 tomorrow with Provot beginning at 9:39, as she looks for a repeat performance on day two at Lavaux.