Leading Cara Gainer posted an excellent 66 (-7) on day one of the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España at Alferini Golf. The French Anaïs Meyssonnier is in 3rd place in the final tournament of the season on the European circuit, thanks to a card of 68 (-5).

Spanish Open: Gainer in command, Meysonnier 3rd

Cara Gainer – ©Tristan Jones/LET

Cara Gainer started on the 11th hole with a birdie, then chained a second birdie on the 13th, before losing a shot on the 14th.

However, the Englishwoman found her rhythm by birdying four straight on holes 16-1 and despite another bogey on the third, she birdied three more to return a superb first card of 66 (-7).

“Overall, I am really very satisfied”, she said. “I couldn't have asked for a better start. I took the plunge, I was quite patient, I hit the ball well today and I made a few putts. »

“The game was very different from the practice days. We had 32 km/h winds and we had no wind today and it was much warmer. The ball was flying farther, we had one or two clubs less on each hole today, which makes close shots a little easier. »

“I would give myself a seven or eight out of ten for the season. The trend is really good from Belgium, which kicked off the last four or five months. I had some really solid results. It's good to get off to a good start this week, there's still a lot of golf to play. »

Spanish Open: Gainer in command, Meyssonnier 3rd

Anaïs Meyssonnier – ©Mark Runnacles / LET

Gainer is one step ahead of the defending champion, Charlotte Ciganda, who completed a 67 (-6) lap for the first day.

The Spaniard had a slower start, with birdies on the sixth and eighth holes, before committing a double bogey on the 11th. at the top of the ranking.

"I'm quite happy", said the six-time winner of the LET. “After that double bogey, I thought three or four under was a good score today. »

“I knew I had those two par-fives to finish, so I thought if I could get some birdies before 16 and 17. I started making some good putts from 13 to 18 and with six birdies Finally, I am obviously very happy. »

“I love playing here, it's so nice to see familiar faces, to see family and friends. I like to play in front of them. It's always special to play in Spain too, so I'm just happy to be here and finish the year at home."

Four players share third place at -5 under par, the French Anais Meyssonnier, the Swiss Morgane Metraux, the Irish Leona maguire and the Swedish Linn Grant..

Anais Meyssonnier had a good day making an eagle on the 15 par four, as well as four birdies for a bogey.
“I'm very happy with my round, I only did nine practice holes and I tried to rest as much as possible. I landed my eagle from 100m with the backspin which was great. My putting was very good too. I didn't miss a lot of shots, just a driver on the sixth hole because I tried to go to the other side of the fairway, and I missed. My long game was in place, and so was my putting. »

The day was bogey-free for Metraux, who birdied five for her round of 68 and was happy with her day.

“Choosing a club and then flagging it makes things easier in my head and I like that. My long game was pretty consistent, I didn't really putt too much today. I hit it pretty close to the flags on several holes. Overall it was pretty solid, and I didn't bogey. »

While the star irish maguire, who started from 11th, dropped his only shot of the day in the 18th and put an eagle on his scorecard.

"It was a really solid lap, I got on well on my targets", said Maguire. “I drove well, which is what you need to do here, and it was good to have that bonus eagle on the 8 to come in and finish with good momentum. »

“I had a fantastic season on the LPGA, it was good to end it with a second place there and a last event of the year, hoping that I can finish it strong. It's nice to be back in Spain and there were quite a few Irish people watching today which was nice to have some home support and my dad is here this week so that's good to have it here too and finish as well as possible. »

Leader of the 2022 Race to Costa del Sol  Linn Grant recovered well on day one after birding twice on his first three holes.

The Swede quickly found her feet, making birdies on holes 4, 6, 8 and 12 before making three consecutive ones on holes 16 to 18 to finish in style.

"I started off a little nervous and stiff, didn't know what to do for the first two holes, being at +2 after three holes", said the four-time LET winner. “I then found my bearings and finished with a score of -5 which I am very happy about. »

“I think I kind of built this first lap wanting to put in a good performance and take the lead. Going onto the court with Maja [Stark] and Carlota, knowing that they were probably going to play well, I knew I had to play well as well and I think that pressure took over the first two holes. »

“It's nice to be in front of Maja at the moment, although I like playing with her, and she will say the same, it's good to have a head start in the next round. »

Nine players are one step further, tied for seventh place, including the Swedes maja stark et Jessica karlsson, South Africans Lee-anne pace et Casandra Alexander, the English Hannah burke et Alice Hewson, the Spanish Nuria Iturrioz et Azahara Munoz, finally the Dutch star Anne Van Dam.

The rest of the French clan, comes further in the ranking, Anne-Charlotte Mora is 31st in 72 (-1), Anne-Lise Caudal 50th in 74 (+1), Emma Grechi 59th in 75 (+2), and finally Agathe Sauzon 73rd and last in 79 (+6).

To view the full leaderboard: click here

To read our last article on the same subject :

LET Spanish Open: Pedersen triumphs, Gidali 6th