Moroccan Amateur Ines Laklelech joins France’s home favourite Anais Meyssonnier, Spain’s Mireia Prat and Neuchatel Ladies Championship winner Greta Isabella Voekler of Germany at the top of the Montauban Open leaderboard as the trio finished day one on four-under-par at the LET Access Series event.
Laklelech is playing in her first professional event and looked very much at home on the LET Access Series despite rainy conditions at the French course. Beginning her round on the 10th hole, the debutant made the perfect start with a confident putt to seal an opening birdie. A bogey followed at eleven as the youngster had an up-and-down opening few holes but by the 16th hole Laklelech was starting to play some exceptional golf. A birdie at the par-3 16th was followed by two more at 17 and 18 as the Moroccan started to fire with the putter.
“That was a good round. I finished the last three holes of the first nine solid, putting worked pretty well today and I had my brother on the bag today so that helped a lot. At the beginning it was raining so having a caddie, especially someone you’re familiar with, helps you a lot. You get to talk between two shots and also when it’s raining they keep everything all set for you - and dry!”
The back nine, holes 1-9 for Laklelech, was a steadier affair with a solitary bogey at the 2nd quickly nullified with birdies at the 3rd and 5th before a run of pars saw the amateur home for an impressive opening round of 68. Going into the event, the recent Management Science graduate was putting no pressure on herself as she made her first appearance in the professional game.
“I took it as an exercise. I just got back to golf from a three-year break because I studied. So, I practiced for a month before coming here and I was like ‘these two professional events are going to be as practice. I’ll do my best with every shot and we’ll see what happens.’ And it’s working pretty well!”
France’s Anais Meyssonnier also ended the day on -4, with five birdies along with a solitary bogey at the 3rd. Meyssonnier has been in great form in the 2019 LET Access Series but has yet to be victorious on the Tour. After finishing in a tie for 7th at the VP Bank Ladies Open, the Frenchwoman recorded a second top-10 finish at Neuchatel improving to finish in 4th position at the Swiss course.
Meyssonnier will be buoyed by her finish to her round, with four of her birdies coming in the final six holes. With another day of consistent tee-to-green play, she will hope for another hot streak with the putter to improve on her early-season finishes this time around.
Germany’s Greta Voekler is also tied at the top of the leaderboard after another terrific round on the LET Access Series. The 22-year-old hit seven birdies on the way to carding an impressive four-under in the rain. Voekler secured her first professional victory at the Neuchatel Ladies Championship in May and is proving to be a force to be reckoned with in the 2019 Series.
The Dusseldorf native has tasted victory already and will be aware that a second this season will give her a significant points boost in the Race to La Largue.
The final player in a share for the lead is Spain’s Mireia Prat. Playing in the final group, Prat had a drier round and made the most of the more pleasant conditions as she also shot a magnificent 68 with only one dropped shot at the 15th tarnishing the scorecard.
Conditions look favourable for Friday’s play with calm conditions and a drier day forecast. Heading into day two, there is all to play for with the four leaders knowing another low score will be key to pull away from the chasing pack.