Lara 4 off the pace at the Annika

Lara Weinstein returned a one-over-par 73 in the first round of the Annika Invitational being played at the Reunion Resort in Florida. She is four off the pace and in 22nd place in a strong international field.

Lara started with a drop on her first hole after the players were rushed at the tee, answered 20 questions, posed for a photo and then quickly teed off. She pushed her drive and could not get onto the green in regulation.

She came back two holes later with a birdie on the par three12th. Three drops and a birdie later saw her turn at two over.

She started the back nine with two birdies but was unlucky on the par three third when her tee shot hit the green on the left and rolled all the way down the hill. She fluffed her chip and ended up with a five – the only real blemish on her card. She had two more birdies and one drop to finish one over.

Lara played solid golf and her six birdies were a real achievement on this very difficult course.

Manager Erica Lefson reported that Izel Pieters, playing in her first ‘big’ tournament, had a nervous start with a double drop which set the tone for her game. ”She did not play well, lost her swing and struggled on the greens. She shot an 84 – but for her this event is all about the experience and what she can learn from it. She immediately went to the practice tee after her game and I am sure she will settle down and play her usual good golf tomorrow.

“The official practice took place on Friday with a shot gun start at 8.00am. There were strict rules and players were told that if they played two balls at any time they would be taken off the course. They were allowed a few extra putts.

“They were also told that the pace of play for the practice was four hours and twenty minutes and they would be chased. Lara and Izel teed off on the 13th – they led the field and completed their round in four hours and five minutes.

“The opening banquet was simple, good food, and ran on time. We were stuck in traffic and arrived seven minutes late and they had just started to say grace… but we were not the last to arrive. A very pregnant Annika chatted to the girls and then a team photo was taken – see the web site – our girls in white tops.”

Annika hosted a clinic for the girls after play in the first round and shared some of her golf experiences with them – always a special part of this annual event.

Live scoring

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