Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Bangalore – Wednesday December 5.
Gwladys Nocera from France birdied the last hole to take a three-way share of the lead after the first round of the inaugural EMAAR-MGF Ladies Masters at Eagleton Resort near Bangalore in India.
Nocera, a four-time winner on the LET, set up the easy birdie with a nine-iron approach shot, which hit the flag on the 18th green and came to rest only two inches from the hole. She and the Swedish duo of Anna Tybring and Lotta Wahlin were tied on three-under-par 69 with a one shot lead over English first year player Sophie Walker.
Denmark’s Amanda Moltke-Leth and South Korea’s Bo Ri Lee were a shot back on 71 with a further six players on level par 72.
Nocera, twice a Solheim Cup player, carded four birdies over the first 13 holes but temporarily dropped down the leaderboard when she double bogeyed the par-5 15th only to recover in sensational fashion with her tap-in birdie at the par-4 18th.
“I hit the ball pretty well and it’s been a while since I hit the ball like that,” admitted Nocera, who won her fourth LET title at the KLM Ladies Open in Holland in June. “If I can tease the New Star Money List and move up a little bit that would be great. I don’t think I can win the New Star Money List as I have to win this week and next week. It’s pretty tough as next week is going to be a big event.”
The 32-year-old Nocera, who resides in Lausanne, Switzerland, is currently sixth on the New Star Money List with earnings of €160,424.97 from 19 tournaments. A win this week would enhance her prospects for a top five finish on the New Star Money List.
“This week I just want to try my best and a win this week would be nice,” she said.
Tybring, who joined the LET in 2001, arrived in sunny India from snow-covered Sweden and she was delighted with her score, especially since she hadn’t played in a tournament since the De Vere Ladies Scottish Open in late September.
The 28-year-old from Kisa fired a bogey-free, three-under-par 69 after teeing off in the third match of the day at 08:00. She said: “I haven’t played in a competition for two-and-a-half months so I am amazed that I shot three under.
“I’ve just been home. I had a rest for two weeks without playing golf but since then I’ve been practising. It’s just been technique. We had some snow in Sweden so I had to practise on the range.
“It’s amazing (here in India). I mean, like wearing shorts and tee-shirts is perfect compared to wearing four or five layers. It’s good.”
She carded three birdies at the fourth, fifth and 11th holes, continuing a run of form which gave her a career best finish of tied sixth at the SAS Masters in Norway earlier this year.
Meanwhile, fellow Swede Wahlin carded five birdies and two bogeys. The 23-year-old, who is currently ranked 22nd on the New Star Money List, said: “I was playing well. I hit some good shots and there were some good putts.”
Wahlin’s best finishes this year so far were third at the Finnair Masters in Finland and fourth at the Nykredit Masters in Denmark.
Organisers of the EMAAR-MGF Ladies Masters and the Ladies European Tour have agreed that there will be no traditional cut midway through this week's €200,000 tournament, which will mean that every professional in the field will be paid.
The original field stood at 72 players but was reduced to 71 after India’s Irina Brar was forced to retire because of high fever.

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