Norway’s Rachel Raastad took the lead on day one of the Scandic PGA Championship after a -7 opening round at the Allerum Golf Club in Helsingborg. On a day with low scores in abundance, the 30-year-old’s score of 65 sees her holding a one-shot lead heading into day two.
Raastad made an impressive start to the round with four birdies in a bogey-free front nine. The Drammen resident dropped a shot at the fourteenth, the only blemish on her scorecard, but two birdies and a stunning eagle on the signature par-5 eighteenth saw Raastad move into the outright lead.
“It was a lot of fun today. I played fantastic from tee to green, I think I missed a green. It just floated and everyone in the group played well. Everything was good today,” commented Raastad.
The Norwegian’s best finish on the 2019 LET Access Series is 31st in the Bossey Ladies Championship but she showed signs of the form that saw her finish as runner-up in the WPGA International Challenge in 2015. Rastaad will hope to go one better this week and secure a first tour victory in what is her fifth year as a professional.
A shot adrift of the leader in a share for second place on -6 is Raastad’s Norwegian compatriot Tonje Daffinrud. The 27-year-old hit seven birdies in her 66, including on holes 17 and 18, with Daffinrud particularly impressive on the greens with a number of putts rolled in from 8-feet plus.
The Tonsberg resident has a number of top-5 finishes on the LET Access Series, and a best this season of eighth at the Skafto Open. The Scandic PGA Championship looks set to offer the opportunity to score well and Daffinrud will be looking for the consistency throughout the tournament that has proved difficult to find in previous events this season.
Alongside Daffinrud is Sweden’s My Leander. The 23-year-old carded seven birdies in her -6 round including another stunning finish to the round with consecutive birdies at 16, 17 and 18. Leander was strong from tee and looked equally assured on the greens as she posted her lowest score on tour this season.
After some early season struggles, the Swede has found form in recent weeks with a number of top-20 finishes, the best of which is a tie for 7th at Bossey. The youngster seems to be peaking at the right time with a number of crucial events in the Road to La Largue approaching.
Heading into Friday’s second round, thirty players are lying under par at the Swedish course, all firmly within touch of the lead. With low winds and a dry day forecast, birdie opportunities are expected once again with the tournament poised for a second day of impressive scoring leaving the door wide open for someone to emerge from the pack and secure the lead heading into the final eighteen holes on Saturday.