August 13, 2020

By Tom Benbow, LET Beat Writer

Denmark’s Nicole Broch Larsen hit the top of the leaderboard at around 1pm and did not look back, as she recorded a four-under-par round of 67 to hold a one-shot overnight lead from five players at the close of play on day one of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open at Renaissance Golf Club.

Due to a two-hour fog delay on the first day, the return of the LET was not as smooth as predicted nor as many had hoped, but mother nature can be cruel at Links venues in ‘The Home of Golf’. With nine groups unable to finish due to the late start, round two gets under way as scheduled tomorrow at 6.30am with the remainder of round one set to resume at 8.00am.

With only 21 players posting under par scores from the world-class 144 player-field, the wind and longer rough, which is new for 2020, ensured that The Renaissance Golf Club showed its teeth and despite the pristine condition, left many major champions in its wake.

Broch Larsen and her compatriots, Emily Kristine Pedersen and Nanna Koerstz Madsen, however, found a way of ensuring that three Danes sat firmly inside the top-10 with scores of 68 (-3) and 69 (-2) respectively as they seek to be crowned the ASI Ladies Scottish Open champion.

Broch Larsen said, “I had 26 putts, so that helps a lot. I didn’t hit it super close but I made a couple of long ones, and I just tried to keep it in play. I feel like that’s kind of the secret to links golf.”

As it stands as many as nine Europeans sit inside the top 12 with Germany’s Olivia Cowan (T2, 68) and Sandra Gal (T7, 69) chasing the leader alongside Americans Jennifer Song (T2, 69) and Amy Olson (T2, 69). Spain’s Azahara Munoz continued to show why she is a force to be reckoned with in Europe with a consistent round of 68, which included holing a 7-iron for eagle at the first hole, while Czech star Klara Spilkova also fired a round of 69 (-2).

Big-hitting Anne Van Dam, who was in the last group of the day, got as far as the 13th tee before being halted by darkness and will resume tomorrow morning at 2-under-par as she looks to recreate the form that saw her shoot an opening round of 63 (-8) last year.

Scotland’s Gemma Dryburgh leads the home hopes of victory and currently sits in T7 after an opening round of 69 (-2) in the first group.

Undeterred by the lack of spectators out on the course, she said, “it’s a bit surreal really. It is a bit weird not having the fans but I’m sure I would have lots of support usually with my family and hopefully the Scottish crowds, as well. It’s just one of those things, we are so glad to be out playing again.”

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