Thursday, September 20, 2007



Jade Schaeffer of France took a one-stroke lead after the first round of the De Vere Ladies Scottish Open at The Carrick on Loch Lomond.
The first year Ladies European Tour (LET) player carded a two-under-par 69 in heavy rain and was one of only two players to finish the day under par.
The second player to do so was the 16-year-old Scottish amateur Sally Watson, pictured left, who finished tied for 50th at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at St Andrews last month. Watson was tied for the lead on two-under after three birdies and a bogey in her first 11 holes.
However, she bogeyed the par-4 17th to eventually finish on 70, one-under-par.
Schaeffer, who has posted three top-tens in her first season on the LET, with her best finish a third place at the Ladies Open of Portugal, was three-under after her first seven holes following birdies on the second, fourth and seventh holes.
She three-putted the par-4 ninth for a double-bogey 6 but picked up a shot on the back nine to take the clubhouse lead on two-under-par 69.
“I’m happy because two-under is very good today,” said Schaeffer, from Strasbourg, who also led after the first round of the Nykredit Masters in Denmark a fortnight ago. “I was one-under for the first nine and one-under on the back.
“Today it was not very good because the conditions were so difficult. It is difficult with the rain stopping and starting.
“I think the best part of my game was the putting; the putting and chipping. Hitting greens in regulation was very hard but I chipped well and I putted well for birdie.”
Watson, who hails from South Queensferry, Edinburgh but is a resident student at the Leadbetter Academy in Bradenton, Florida, helped steer the European PING Junior Solheim Cup Team to victory last week in Sweden.
She began playing the game at three-years old and was just four when England’s Alison Nicholas won the last Scottish Open to take place on the Ladies European Tour in 1996. Now Sally is hoping to become the youngest winner on the LET after Amy Yang won the 2006 ANZ Ladies Masters at the age of 16 years, nine months and 18 days.
Watson said: “I didn’t know what the scores were going to be like because of the weather. I got out here at about mid-day and it was miserable then. I wasn’t sure what to expect at my first LET event (The Women’s British Open), but I made the cut there. I came here confident. It’s all a new experience for me, playing with the professionals. We had a great time out there today, and that was the main thing. It is so easy to get frustrated. I didn’t really get frustrated with the weather.
“I was happy with my game, I got up and down every time and had a great time with my dad (caddie, Graham).”
Sweden’s Sophie Gustafson, a member of last week’s defeated European Solheim Cup team, finished tied for third with Spaniard Elisa Serramia on level par 71 and seven players carded 72, including home hopes Lynn Kenny and Clare Queen.
Catriona Matthew, who was Europe’s leading points scorer last week in The Solheim Cup, posted a 73 and finished tied for 12th position with fellow Scot Mhairi McKay and three other players.
Par 71
69 J Schaeffer (Fra).
70 S Watson (Sco) (am).
71 E Serramia (Spa), S Gustafson (Swe).
72 F Johnson (Eng), C Queen (Sco), S Walker (Eng), H Alterby (Swe), K-M Juul (Den), L Kenny (Sco), S Renell (Swe).
73 M McKay (Sco), A Cvitan (Swe), C Lundgren (Nor), K S Taylor (Eng), C Matthew (Sco).
Other scores:
74 C Booth (Sco) (am) (jt 17th).
76 J Moodie (Sco), B Brewerton (Wal) (jt 43rd).
78 K MacDonald (Sco) (am), K Imrie (Sco) (jt 65th).
79 H MacRae (Sco), J Wilson (Sco) (am) (jt 78th).
81 V Laing (Sco).