Amid one of the strongest women’s golf fields ever assembled in China, three Ladies European Tour players lead the way on the opening day of the Mission Hills World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills Resort Haikou.
Sweden’s Linda Wessberg, Gwladys Nocera of France and Sophie Walker of England, all out in the morning, posted rounds of five under par 67 on the challenging Sandbelt Trails Course in warm and slightly breezy conditions.
They led by one over World No.4 Inbee Park, Valentine Derrey, Rungthiwa Pangjan, Bo-Mi Suh and hot young amateur Hyo-Joo Kim of Korea.
Norwegian World No.8 Suzann Pettersen found no favours on the greens but still managed a ‘decent’ two-under par 70 to share 15th place with last year’s winner Shanshan Feng of China and seven others, including Laura Davies, who eagled the 300-yard par-four third hole.
All three of the leaders were bogey-free, with Walker and Wessberg firing five birdies each. Nocera, the European No.1 in 2008, when she won five titles on the LET, mixed three birdies with an eagle on the 462-yard par-five 18th hole. She picked up three shots in her final two holes, having birdied the par-four 17th.