Russia’s Nina Pegova fired a first round of 66 to lead by one stroke at the end of day one of the Santander Golf Tour Zaragoza. 

The LETAS Order of Merit leader shot to the top of the leaderboard in sweltering conditions at Real Club de Golf La Penaza and had an exceptional back nine. 

Pegova made the turn in 35 before rolling in three birdies and an eagle in her last nine holes to seal the overnight lead of six-under-par. 

She said: “The course was in great shape and excellent condition. The most difficult part of the day was to maintain good concentration when experiencing the high temperatures that we had today. I made an eagle on 16, from the second shot I hit it very close to the pin. It was only about 30cm, so it was an easy eagle to make.”

Despite opening her round with a birdie, Pegova bogeyed the fourth hole and had to make adjustments but once she found her groover, she built some momentum. 

“The beginning of the round wasn’t easy for me, even though I made a birdie on the first hole,” she explained. “The greens were reading a bit differently at the beginning and I was experiencing some problems with my driver, but when I picked up my driving pace, I started to enjoy my round and that is when the birdies started to arrive.”

Spain’s Piti Martinez Bernal and Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini sit one shot behind the leader having carded rounds of 67. 

The Spaniard made the turn in 32 which included three consecutive birdies on holes five through seven and another on the ninth, with two more birdies and a bogey on the back nine. 

“The hot weather made it very tough, it got a bit windy at the end, but I adapted well. I have worked hard on my technique and mental game, and the results are showing,” she said. “The golf course is in great condition; the greens are rolling really well, and the fairways are impeccable. I love this course!”

Five players sit one stroke further back on four-under-par including England’s Rachael Goodall and Sophie Stone, Japan’s Tomoko Yokoyama, Germany’s Verena Gimmy and Spain’s Camilla Hedberg. 

Norway’s Tina Mazarino carded a round of 69 (-3) to be in ninth place, while seven players are currently tied for 10th

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