Today’s round was a late birthday gift for England’s Ellie Gower who carded five birdies to take the lead after day one of the Ahlsell Final at Elisefarm Golf Club.

Gower, who turned 21 yesterday, had her first faultless round of the season with two birdies on the front nine and three on the back.

Speaking about her round, Gower said: “We were the first group out this morning and it was nice to start early and have some pure greens. 

“I had a great group which was nice too. The wind started to pick up towards the end of my round, but I managed to keep playing well.”

Gower who is currently ranked 49th in the LETAS Order of Merit has only missed two cuts this season and finished highest at the Trust Golf Link series in 15th position.

“I didn’t drop any shots today; I can’t quite remember the last time I haven’t made a bogey in a round. So that was amazing to see.

“I thought my way round the course very clearly and made some good decisions.”

Gower’s father, Brian, an English golf club professional is caddying for Ellie this week and first inspired her into the game after taking her to watch LET player, Ellie Givens at the Lacoste Ladies Open de France at Golf de Chan taco in 2014.

“My dad is on the bag this week which is nice, he knows me and my game well, so it works well. 

“The course is nice; it is quite tricky in places as there are a lot of bunkers which are really well placed so you just have to think your way round really smartly.”

After a positive start to the week and her best round of the season, Gower will be looking to build on that into tomorrow.

“I just need to stick to the same processes out there tomorrow, stay calm and just trust my game like I did today. 

“I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself but I’m happy with how today has gone so I just need to try and do the same.”

South Africa’s Lejan Lewthwaite brought competition to Gower in the afternoon carding a round of 68(-4) to finish one shot behind. 

The 32-year-old who plays between the LET and LET Access Series (LETAS) had a strong front nine carding two birdies and one bogey. 

At the turn, Lewthwaite was hot with her putter to roll in a further four birdies and one bogey to finish on four-under-par.

Speaking about her round, Lewthwaite said: “I felt good out there today, the putter was working well and I’ve recently made some swing changes. So it is great to see that coming together, sooner than I thought. 

“It is a fantastic venue this week, I really like the golf course and the greens are looking good out there. I’m also loving the set-up that the tour has made this week.”

Lewthwaite, who has had three top-10s on the LET is yet to make an impression this year, with her highest position being 25th at the Trust Golf Link Series.

“I’m not going to look to do anything different tomorrow. Hopefully the short stick continues to work well. I’m swinging it well, so I just need to take the same feels into tomorrow and take it one shot at a time.”

Also, on four-under-par is Swedish amateur Hanna Nilsson who back in May won the Svenska Juniortouren Division One. 

One shot behind Nilsson is fellow Swedish amateur Matilda Bjorkman who carded six birdies and three bogeys to finish on three-under-par. 

Four players sit in fifth on two-under-par Denmark’s Cecilie Finne Ipsen, England’s Emily Price, Scotland’s Clara Young and Australia’s Kelsey Bennett. 

The second round begins tomorrow at 8:00am local time following which there will be a cut to the top 45 professionals and ties.

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