19th September 2014 | Sunshine Ladies Tour
SA duo in touch at Spanish Open
Johnson rode a hot putter to eight birdies at Golf Costa Adeje in the Canary Islands and dropped just one shot on her way to an opening 65 and a one shot lead over Australian Whitney Hillier.
Bregman was equally impressive with a five-under-par 67 in the hot and sunny conditions and finished two off the pace in a tie for third with Scotland’s Kylie Walker.
The reigning Zambia Open champion supplemented an eagle at the par-five eighth with four birdies to offset a lone bogey at the sixth and was thrilled to get off to a solid start.
“I putted really well today,” the Momentum World of Golf member said. “I hit fairways and knocked it close and gave myself a lot of chances.
“I’ve grown up playing courses that are inland, not coastal courses, but I do have a bit of experience with grainy greens. I saw everything today and it felt right. I was in the right frame of mind. I’ve been working on my putting and it seems to be paying off.”
Chen signed for a flawless 68 to finish in the rather packed bus at four under alongside local favourite Carlota Ciganda, Scotland’s Kelsey Macdonald, Maria Balikoeva from Russia, Sweden’s Anjelika Hammar, Christine Wolf from Austria and England’s Charley Hull.
Meanwhile Pace dropped three shot on the back nine to sign for a 75.
The Pearl Valley golfer tied for 69th with compatriot Kim Williams, among others, while rookie Nicole Garcia claimed a share of 43rd with an opening 73. Sunshine Ladies Tour regulars Nobuhle Dlamini from Swaziland and Namibia’s Bonita Bredenhann carded respective rounds of 76 and 82.
PHOTO – Zambia Ladies Open champion Stacy-Lee Bregman; credit Catherine Kotze / SASPA