The bad weather that has plagued the Azores affected the opening day of the Azores Ladies Open sponsored by the Azores Tourism Association and supported by the Azores Golf Islands, having been suspended at 9.51 with a re-start at 13.15 due to heavy rain, with the result that the later groups finished just before dusk.
Anna Rossi, who finished 7th last year in this event was a bit disappointed to finish her day badly after fighting so well in the difficult conditions. The Italian shot a one over par 73 but could have taken the lead on her own if it was not for finishing her last four holes in three over par.
"It was a pity the last few holes, I made two times three putts after missing my drive on the 15th and choosing the wrong iron at 16, but I'm happy for the return I did," said Rossi, currently lying 9th on the LETAS Order Merit.
But if Anna Rossi came to the Azores to prepare for the LET Qualifying School in December, Katy McNicoll admits that it would be important to win the tournament, but admits there is still a lot of golf ahead of her this week. The Scot played solidly with 2 birdies and 3 bogeys and did not feel very affected by the wind and rain, "The conditions today were like I have at home. A day like this is summer in Scotland." McNicoll started well with a birdie on the 1st and admitted the back nine could have been better, "But if you had told me before I started that I would shoot one over I would have accepted it immediately," said McNicoll, who last month finished 2nd to Portuguese-Frenchwomen Caroline Afonso in the Fourqueux Ladies Open.
Portuguese amateur Sofia Camara, 19, lies just outside the top-ten after shooting an opening 8 over par, 80, playing her back nine in one under par.
"After the first 9, I knew I had to give back the result and I'm happy with what I did. As an amateur, I come without pressure and I would like to make the cut but so does everyone else. All tournaments are important, but this is the most important that I’ve played after the Portugal Ladies Open in CampoReal, "said the daughter of professional Claudia Dantas, who lies in 12th place, tied with four other players.
Portugal’s Monia Bernardo currently lies in 27th place after an opening 82, tied with three other players. Bernardo was pleased with her first trip to the Azores, "It’s a beautiful island, the people are very nice, the tournament is well organized, it is only the bad weather but I do not even mind playing with the wind ' she said.
The Azores Ladies Open continues tomorrow at Golf de Batahla, with the start of the second round scheduled for 09:00 am and the last group teeing off at 10.00.