SUZHOU, China – Leading Ladies European Tour rookie Carlota Ciganda fired a bogey-free opening round of seven-under-par 65 in warm and misty conditions to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the China Suzhou Taihu Open on Friday.
The impressive 22-year-old from Pamplona carded seven birdies around the Suzhou Taihu International golf course on her first appearance in China to end the day a stroke clear of fellow Spaniard Tania Elosegui. Englishwoman Florentyna Parker is in sole third place on 67, with the 2010 champion Lee-Anne Pace of South Africa, Germany’s Caroline Masson and Frenchwoman Cassandra Kirkland all on four under par.
Meanwhile local star Na Zhang, who gave birth to a baby boy in January, is tied for seventh with Gwladys Nocera of France, the runner-up in 2009.
“I played very solid off the tee and hit good shots into the green. I think the key was my putting because I made really good putts,” said Ciganda, who earned her first Ladies European Tour victory at the Deloitte Ladies Open in Holland in June. “I played great golf and made no bogeys so that really helped me. I was just hitting great shots and I think I hit 17 greens, made 29 putts and hit it very solid to the green.”