Nicole Broch Larsen sets early pace at Ladies Scottish Open

Nicole Broch Larsen

Nicole Broch Larsen posted a four-under 67 to hit the front after the opening round of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open.

Making her first LPGA start since February, the Dane showed no signs of rust to set the early pace as women’s professional golf returned to Scotland for the first time since last year’s spectacular Solheim Cup at Gleneagles.

Broch Larsen enters the second round holding a one-stroke lead over five players, including her countrywoman Emily Kristine Pedersen.

“I had 26 putts, so that helps a lot,” she said. “I didn't hit it super close but I made a couple of long ones and I just tried to keep it in play.

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“I feel like that's kind of the secret to links golf. You've got to just play the round and then you make your putt here and there.”

Pedersen opened with five birdies in her opening seven holes but lost her momentum with a double-bogey at No.8. She then parred her way in to finish on three-under alongside Americans Jennifer Song and Amy Olson, Germany’s Olivia Cowan and Spain’s Azahara Munoz.

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Heavy fog blanketed The Renaissance Club on Thursday morning, pushing back tee times by two hours. Play was suspended at 8:35pm due to darkness, with 27 players (nine groups) yet to finish. The first round resumed at 8am on Friday, with the second round beginning on time at 6:30am.

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Danielle Kang, who came to Scotland having won the LPGA last two events in Ohio, shot a level-par 71 on Thursday and is tied for 22nd after 18 holes. The 2017 Ladies Scottish Open winner Mi Hyang Lee opened with a three-over 74 and is tied for 65th, while 2018 champion Ariya Jutanugarn was three-over through 12 holes.

The Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open is the first of two consecutive events in Scotland. Next week, the tour heads to Royal Troon for the season’s first major, the AIG Women’s Open.

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