Dame Laura Davies enjoyed a bright finish on a tough opening day of her historic appearance at the inaugural Shipco Masters in Denmark.
Davies, the first female golfer to compete in a Staysure Tour event, struggled to a six-over 78 on day one of the 54-hole tournament at Simon’s Golf Club in Kvistgard, although she did lift her spirits with a birdie-birdie finish.
The 54-year-old bogeyed three of the first six holes before making her first birdie of the day at the long seventh, but she then ran up a double-bogey six at the ninth before dropping four shots in a torrid six-hole stretch on the back nine.
However, Davies birdied the two par-five closing holes to post the same score as two-time Masters champion Jose-Maria Olazabal, one of four Ryder Cup-winning captains in the field along with Colin Montgomerie, Ian Woosnam and Paul McGinley.
Rafael Gomez ended the first day in the outright lead after the Staysure Tour Qualifying School winner birdied the final three holes of each nine in a six-under 66, leaving him one ahead of Peter Baker, Paul Eales, Barry Lane and James Kingston, who was playing with Davies.
McGinley is three off the pace after recovering from a bogey-bogey start to return a 69, including four birdies on the inward half, while Montgomerie mixed three birdies with two bogeys in a steady 71.
Woosnam slumped to five over with six to play before back-to-back birdies helped the 1991 Masters champion salvage a 75, the same score as his former Ryder Cup team-mate David Gilford.
Champions Tour Golf
June 7, 2018, 7:30am
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