Thursday, December 13, 2007


Catriona Matthew, starting at the 10th, was four under par with only the ninth hole to play in the first round of the Dubai Ladies Masters at the Emirates Club today.
But she ran up a double-bogey 6 at her last hole to finish on two-under 70.
The North Berwick player birdied the short 11th, the 14th, the short 15th, the long third - dropped a short at the short fourth, and birdied the eighth.
Clare Queen, starting at the 10th, was one under par with four holes to play, having dropped a shot at the 14th but birdied the 15th and the second. The Scot, playing out of The Carrick at Cameron House, finished on 72, after bogeying the seventh.


Sweden’s Louise Stahle lowered Annika Sorenstam’s course record by a stroke with an eight-under-par 64 in the first round of the Dubai Ladies Masters. Stahle shot nine birdies and one bogey around the Majlis course at Emirates Golf Club to lead by three strokes over England’s Laura Davies and Lisa Hall on 67.
Sweden’s Sophie Gustafson and Denmark’s Lisa Holm Sorensen were a shot further back in joint fourth on 68.
Sorenstam, who was Stahle’s idol growing up, set a women’s course record with a 65 in the first round en route to victory in the inaugural tournament last year. The defending champion was today six shots behind the leader in joint ninth position on two-under-par 70.
Annika was taking the positives out of her round and said: “I had some really good holes and I had some less good holes so I missed a few shots and there were some putts I left out there. I’m glad I made five birdies. I did not expect to make any more birdies so I’ve just got to stay away from bogeys.
“I drove it well: a lot of good drives, fairways. I missed only three greens. Unfortunately there were some that I didn’t make up and down so I’ve got to work on that.”
Stahle, 22, from Lund, made a hot start in her first visit to Dubai, with birdies on the first four holes. She then birdied the seventh before her only bogey of the day came at the eighth, giving her an outward total of 35, four-under-par.
After birdies at holes 10 and 12, Stahle overtook Davies as the outright leader and pulled three strokes clear with two more birdies at the 15th and 16th holes.
“It tied my best ever round as an amateur but was my best round in two years as a pro,” said Stahle, who played on the LPGA Tour in 2006. She is playing in her first year on the Ladies European Tour, where she is in line to scoop the leading rookie honours on Sunday, but she said: “I’m not really thinking about that too much.”
Stahle’s best finish on the LET this year was second at the Open de Portugal and she has recorded four top-tens this season in total. She was delighted to discover that she had bettered Sorenstam’s course record.
“I didn’t know it was a course record but that is pretty exciting,” she said. The LET’s leading rookie (who won the British women's open amateur championship at Gullane in 2004 and successfully defended it -beating Claire Coughlan in the final - at Littlestone, Kent in 2005 - was pleased to be leading a tournament featuring the likes of Sorenstam, Davies and Gustafson, but ultimately, she said she saw them as equal competitors.
While Stahle was looking to collect her maiden professional victory in the Middle East this week, Davies, also playing in Dubai for the first time, was targeting her 69th. Davies, who won the Austrian Open in September, carded six birdies, two bogeys and an eagle at the par-five third hole during a day of perfect scoring conditions.
She said: “I hit it really well. I putted really well. My irons were good. I think I left a couple of really good chances out there that I didn’t hole but I holed seven decent ones. Overall it was very solid. The chipping wasn’t great but this grass is quite tricky to get any check on at all. The bogeys were very unnecessary because I hit bad chips.
“We were clever today. Number nine is a good hole – a two iron and a nine iron made a good hole quite easy. If you start using a driver you are in trouble. Hole number 10 is the only par-5 we can’t reach.
“If we shoot four or five under every day then we will probably win and if we shoot worse than that the chances are, if the weather stays like this, it won’t be low enough.”

Par 72
Louise Stahle (SWE)
Laura Davies (ENG)
Lisa Hall (ENG)
Lisa Holm Sorensen (DEN)
Sophie Gustafson (SWE)
Ashleigh Simon (SA)
Federica Piovano (ITA)
Lotta Wahlin (SWE)
Claire Coughlan (IRE)
Annika Sorenstam (SWE)
Linda Wessberg (SWE)
Catriona Matthew (SCO)
Trish Johnson (ENG)
Veronica Zorzi (ITA)
Martina Eberl (GER)
Johanna Head (ENG)
Ha-Neul Kim (KOR)
Fame More (ENG)
Anja Monke (GER)
Amy Yang (KOR)
Ludivine Kreutz (FRA)
Marina Arruti (ESP)
Kirsty S Taylor (ENG)
Danielle Masters (ENG)
Gwladys Nocera (FRA)
Sophie Giquel (FRA)
Felicity Johnson (ENG)
Louise Friberg (SWE)
Chutichai Porani (THA)
Joanne Mills (AUS)
Carlota Ciganda (Am) (ESP)
Iben Tinning (DEN)
Titiya Plucksataporn (THA)
Stephanie Arricau (FRA)
Clare Queen (SCO)
Bettina Hauert (GER)
Becky Brewerton (WAL)
Lynn Brooky (NZ)
Laurette Maritz (SA)
Asa Gottmo (SWE)
Sophie Walker (ENG)
Maria Hjorth (SWE)
Paula Marti (ESP)
Marta Prieto (ESP)
Sarah Kemp (AUS)
Amanda Moltke-Leth (DEN)
Maria Boden (SWE)
Tania Elosegui (ESP)
Hazel Kavanagh (IRE)
Leah Hart (AUS)
Beatriz Recari (ESP)
Catrin Nilsmark (SWE)
Melissa Reid (ENG)
Anna Temple (USA)
Anna Tybring (SWE)
Jo Clingan (ENG)
Mette Buus (DEN)
Elisabeth Esterl (GER)
Ana B Sanchez (ESP)
Helen Alfredsson (SWE)
Margherita Rigon (ITA)
Smriti Mehra (IN)
Emma Zackrisson (SWE)
Eva Steinberger (AUT)
Ana Larraneta (ESP)
Martina Gillen (IRE)
Jehanne Jail (FRA)
Hee Jung Kim (KOR)
Sofia Renell (SWE)
Georgina Simpson (ENG)
Karen-Margrethe Juul (DEN)
Karen Lunn (AUS)
Frederique Seeholzer (SWI)
Kirsty Taylor (ENG)
Sara Beautell (ESP)
Helena Alterby (SWE)
Jenni Kuosa (FIN)
Johanna Westerberg (SWE)
Christine Hallstrom (SWE)
Anna Knutsson (SWE)
Natalie Claire Booth (ENG)
Rebecca Coakley (IRE)
Minea Blomqvist (FIN)
Elisa Serramia (ESP)
Natalie Gulbis (USA)
Maria Beautell (ESP)
Maria Verchenova (RUS)
Stacy Lee Bregman (SA)
Natascha Fink (AUT)
Anna Rawson (AUS)
Stefanie Michl (AUT)
Anna Rossi (ITA)
Kiran Matharu (ENG)
Cassandra Kirkland (FRA)
Nathalie David-Mila (FRA)
Virginie Lagoutte-Clement (FRA)
Nora Angehrn (SWI)
Antonella Cvitan (SWE)
Nikki Garrett (AUS)
Cecilie Lundgreen (NOR)
Ellen Smets (BEL)
Pia Koivuranta (FIN)
Mounya Amalou-Sayah (MOR)
Ursula Wikstrom (FIN)
Marjet van der Graaff (NL)
Shalini Malik (IN)
Jade Schaeffer (FRA)
Laura Cabanillas (ESP)
Carmen Alonso (ESP)
Sarah Heath (ENG)