France’s Yvie Chaucheprat posted a bogey-free opening round of 67 (-4) to lead by one shot on the first day of the Final Qualifier at LET Q-School.
The 22-year-old came through Pre-Qualifying at La Manga Club last week finishing in a tie for 30th after playing four rounds.
Chaucheprat got off to an excellent start on the North Course rolling in back-to-back birdies on the first two holes before adding another on the fifth.
One further birdie on the 14th gave the Frenchwoman, who just turned professional, a round of 67 to be four-under-par on day one.
“I was really glad about my round today, I played my best golf and was hitting a lot of fairways and greens,” she said. “I played as best as I could with the wind, it was a bit stronger than last week, so I’m happy with my day.
“I’m hoping for a bit less wind tomorrow, I just need to stay the same and keep on task, don’t go for a big score and play my best golf and play every shot 100%. “
Sitting in second place is England’s Meghan MacLaren, who fired a round of 70 (-3) on the South Course.
The 27-year-old started blisteringly with four birdies in a row on holes two through to five, MacLaren added another on the ninth to make the turn in 32 (-5).
Despite dropping a couple of shots on the 11th, the two-time LET winner played solidly on the back nine to finish on three-under-par after round one.
“My start was a bit surreal to be honest – I’ve been trying to find a way to switch my brain off for years so maybe that’s the secret,” said MacLaren.
“I missed a short putt on the last for birdie which was a shame because it would have been nice to finish it off and I made just one mistake out there which was probably due to not seeing the course.
“Other than that, I tidied up well and conditions aren’t easy at all so to limit the mistakes to just one hole I’m quite happy.”
Three players are in a share of third place on two-under-par including Sweden’s Linn Grant, who flew straight from LPGA Q-School to La Manga.
Grant carded four birdies and two bogeys for her round of 69 on the North Course and was pleased to have coped with the conditions.
“It was very windy out there,” said Grant. “Coming from the other Q-School, the greens are a little bit slower and bumpier, so you have to be a bit more patient and hit the ball a little bit harder. When it’s windy you can’t always expect to hit the best shots, so you just have to figure it out while you’re out there.”
Alongside Grant is Northern Ireland’s Olivia Mehaffey and German amateur Sophie Witt, who both shot rounds of 71 on the South Course.
“It was a fun day, I’m glad I sent the last six weeks in Ireland though because it was very like Irish weather today. It’s been the toughest day since I’ve been here, it was a new level,” said Mehaffey.
“I thought we had covered all winds last week, but a lot of holes were different out there today. That’s the fun thing that you don’t know what way the wind is going to be – it’s a fun challenge and you have to be quite creative.”
Witt added: “It was tough. I think it was tougher than the last week here because the wind was so hard. The long holes were longer, and the wind was coming from the sides. I started with a birdie and finished with a birdie which is always nice.”
Five players are tied for sixth place after the first round with Italy’s Virginia Elena Carta, American Gabriella Then, France’s Agathe Laisne, Scotland’s Jane Turner and Sweden’s Josefine Nyqvist on one-under-par.
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