Lucrezi Colombotto Rosso
Italy’s Lucrezia Colombotto Rosso recorded a stunning four-under-par round of 66 to claim the lead on day one of the Ribeira Sacra Patrimonio de la Humanidad International Ladies Open at the Augas Santas Balneario & Golf Resort in Spain.
The 23-year-old began her round in perfect fashion with a birdie at the par-four first after a fine approach shot and an equally good putt to move under par from the off. The Italian recorded further birdies in succession at hole six and seven as she reached the turn in 32 strokes on -3.
A bogey on the tricky 15th was the only blemish on Colombotto Rosso’s card and this was swiftly cancelled out with a birdie on the 508-yard par-five 16th before a closing birdie in the 18th to finish four-under for the day and the outright lead after the opening eighteen holes.
"You need to have a really good short game and to play really straight because it's quite strategic. I hit my irons pretty solid and near the hole and then I made the putts. I played this event four years ago and I think the course is the best that I've played it," said Colombotto Rosso.
The Italian finished in a tie for fourth at the Terre Blanche Ladies Open earlier in the year and has consistently been in and around the top-30 on the LET Access Series in 2019. Now in her fourth year as a professional, Colombotto Rosso has a number of top-10 finishes on the Tour and will be hoping to make the step and become a winner for the time in the professional ranks.
A shot behind Colombotto Rosso is the trio of Sweden’s Annelie Sjoholm, in-form Spaniard Laura Gomez Ruiz and fellow Italian Stefiania Avanzo.
Sjooholm has been in fine form on the LET Access Series this year with four top-20 finishes and a best result at Neuchatel losing a play-off to winner Greta Isabella Voelker. The Swede showed signs of her Neuchatel form on the Augas Santas course with three birdies on the front nine before a steady back nine saw her record a -3 round and take a share of second position.
Alongside Sjoholm is home favourite Laura Gomez Ruiz. The Spanish player is in a rich vein of form having claimed her first LETAS win at the Montauban Ladies Open last month and followed up with another strong finish, a tie for 2nd, at the Belfius Ladies Open two weeks ago.
Gomez Ruiz had a shaky start, with a loose shot leading to a bogey on the first, but was flawless from then on with four birdies and no dropped shots through to the close. The Spaniard has been a revelation since joining the LET Access Series and looks poised to challenge for the Ribiera title this week.
Stefania Avanzo makes up the chasing trio after an up-and-down opening round at the Augus Santas resort. The Italian carded eight birdies with aggressive approach play but dropped shots consistently, including a double bogey on the par-three 3rd, to also finish -3 for the day.
Avanzo, like compatriot Comombotto Rosso, has a number of top-10 finishes on the LET Access Series but is yet to secure a victory and will be eager to change this having shown that a low score is possible if she can find more consistency in rounds two and three.
The first players tee off at 9:41am tomorrow with conditions expected to be perfect for golf once again with the opportunity for low scores giving the players a chance to move into contention ahead of the final round on Saturday.