Holly Clyburn Photo: DogLeg Media
England’s Holly Clyburn leads the Banesto Tour Valencia, with a first round of 67, five under par at GC Escorpion, giving her a one shot lead over the Netherlands Marjet Van Der Graaff.
South Africa's Monique Smit shares third position with Swede Camilla Lennarth and Isabella Ramsey, all three players shooting a one under par 71.
Nine players are tied at even par, 72, including France’s Marion Ricordeau and Norway’s Cecilie Lundgreen, who are lying second and third on the LETAS ranking respectively.
Clyburn, 21, who turned professional at the recent Crete Ladies Open, signed for six birdies and one bogey and was pleased with her result, “I’ve played very well, consistent, and saving pars when needed. I like this course, the greens are fabulous. I feel very comfortable in Spain, a country that I love; I come here on holidays quite frequently, mainly to Murcia and Alicante where my family has a house, although I only know how to say ‘café con leche’! I’ve holed very good putts: from 15 feet for birdies on holes 7 and 12. I also left them very close: 3 feet on 3rd and on the 11th for birdies, stone dead on the 15th. And I chipped in at 5th for birdie after visiting the trees on the left”."
Van Der Graaff, a winner of the Banesto Tour in Zaragoza in April was happy and relaxed about her first round: “I’ve given myself many birdie chances, made four and an eagle on the 3rd with driver, rescue and a 15 foot putt. I’m playing well and enjoying a great course. I have my LET card secured for next year, so I do not feel the pressure that some of my colleagues have”.
Spain’s Marta Silva, playing in her first event as a professional, was a little disappointed after signing for a 75, 3 over par: “I made some silly mistakes although it feels good. I started with a birdie at 10th holing from 15 feet, and was one under after the first nine. Then, I started really badly the back nine with bogey, double-bogey. But I holed from one metre for birdie at the 6th and made a great save on the 18th from 30 feet. The tournament has just started, two more rounds to go. I’ve received many good luck messages the last days; I spoke to Carlota Ciganda on Monday and she told me: “Enjoy it and play your own game”. I will follow her advice”.
The second day’s play will start from tees 1 and 10 at 9.00am