Russia’s Nina Pegova and Iceland’s Gudrun Bjorgvinsdottir lead the way on five-under-par after the opening day’s play at the Viaplay Ladies Finnish Open in Lahti.
Pegova had a stunning first nine holes, reaching the turn in 31, including an exceptional run of five consecutive birdies on holes 5-thru-9. The Russian was reading the greens to perfection, and backed up the birdie-run with a solid level-par back nine to card an impressive 67.
The 25-year-old’s best finish on the LET Access Series so far was in 2017 where the Pegova lost in a play-off at the VP Bank Open to finish runner-up. The Moscow native, who took up the game aged 13, showed all the signs of a return to the form she has shown in past years and looked full of confidence coming off the course at the end of her round.
Co-leader Bjorgvinsdottir hit a birdie on the par-5 first to begin what proved to be a tremendous round of golf. The Icelander carded a bogey-free 67, helped by a strong finish with three birdies in her final six holes. Having finished in the top-10 twice already on LETAS this season, at the VP Bank Ladies Open and last time out at Lavaux, the in-form player found it equally simple in Lahti today:
“Golf was easy today. I just hit fairways and then greens. And the ball rolled well on the green as well.”
Leading the chasing pack is Finnish amateur Anna Backman, the home favourite carded a -4 round of 68 to finish the day clear in third place. In the same event in 2017, Backman finished in a very respectable tie for eleventh position and the Finn will be hoping to capitalise on her stellar opening round to improve this time around.
The forecast looks ideal for a second day of scoring at the Messila Golf Club, with a rain-free day and generous winds set to yield some low numbers once again. Backman and co will be looking to put the pressure on the frontrunners and the players will know that there is all to play for with 36 holes still to come on the Finnish course.