|Ai Miyazato of Japan during round one of the Honma Pilsen Golf Masters
World No.13 Ai Miyazato of Japan carded a six-under-par 65 on the first morning of the Honma Pilsen Golf Masters to take the clubhouse lead before play was suspended at lunchtime due to impending storms.
Miyazato birdied the 10th and 13th before dropping a shot after missing the green on the short 15th.
However she picked up the momentum with five birdies on the front nine, her second nine, with birdies on holes two, five, six, seven and nine.
“I’m very happy. I hit the ball well and my putting was good, getting better than last week, so I feel good with my game,” Miyazato said. “This golf course has really tiny fairways, really narrow, so you have to make sure of every position. If you hit on the fairway then you can make birdie for sure. I was thinking about that all day and had a good focus and was very happy with my game.”
On her strategy for playing the tight and hilly course, which is lined with young silver birch, she added: “Of course we had a practice round so me and my caddie were talking about course management and we made sure that we were going to hit it on every hole. I think it went well today and it just depends on the pin positions, so I don’t know where I’m going to hit tomorrow but I want to hit the fairway every hole. My iron distance is pretty good.”
The 28-year-old from Okinawa felt that the greens had coped well with the overnight rainfall and the recent storms over the weekend, when several trees on the course were felled.
“If anything they were faster than yesterday. They are softer though so I can stop the ball on the green and that was big. Even though I had a long club I could stop it on the green so that was big,” she added.
Of the other early starters, Florentyna Parker, Anais Maggetti, Ann-Kathrin Lindner and Diana Luna tied on five-under. Parker, who carded six birdies and one bogey, said: “I’m very happy. I had six birdies, one dropped shot, played very solid, putted well and a nice birdie on the last, which was good. You have a lot of birdie chances. It’s quite tight in some places but you think your way around it and you have loads of birdie opportunities.”
Maggetti, who had five birdies, two bogeyed and an eagle on the par-five ninth, commented: “I hit the ball really good and made some putts, finally. I hit a lot of greens, like 16 greens and 30 putts, so that’s good. It’s a strange one. When I first played here I was like, ‘uh-oh, this course doesn’t suit my game.’ Then I played two practice rounds and hit iron from the tees, middle of the green and try to make some putts. You can be aggressive on the par fives. You can reach in two so you can make birdie there. You have to stay calm and hit middle of the fairway, middle of the green, two putt and go away. I think the weather was pretty nice this morning: no wind and no rain so we were very lucky.”
Line Vedel, Miriam Nagl, Lee-Anne Pace, Melissa Reid and Lindsey Wright were lying within the top ten on four-under-par with 67s.
Czech number one, Klara Spilkova, 18, from Prague fired a two-under 69 and was happy to be in the clubhouse after an up and down round.