18 Feb 2011

Italian leads Pegasus NZ Women’s Open by three shots

7:41 am on 18 February 2011

Italian golfer Giulia Sergas, despite still feeling the effects of a week-long illness, was in commanding form on the first day of the New Zealand Women's Open, firing an eight-under par 64 to take a three-shot lead into today's second round.

Her round was even more remarkable considering she had not looked at the course before stepping onto the first tee at 9.20am.

Sergas round an eagle and seven birdies, with her only flaw coming at the par-4 17th when she three-putted for bogey which denied her a share of the course record 63 set in the final round last year by Swede Pernila Lindberg.

Twenty-two players broke par in the morning, yet only three, Christel Boeljon (Netherlands), Lydia Ko (New Zealand) and Australia's Kristie Smith (71) were under the card in the afternoon.

Boeljon was the best with a three under 69, but local New Zealand amateur Ko, who had not dropped a shot through her first 17 holes, had a relatively straight forward up-and-down on the last for a birdie, only to fluff her chip then three-putt from four metres for bogey to card an impressive two under 72.