Blomqvist One Back Monnet-Melocco Wins Car

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2004 Ladies European TourSINGAPORE -- Minea Blomqvist from Finland began her 2005 season on the Robe di Kappa Ladies European Tour in scintillating fashion with an opening 6-under-par 66 in the $200,000 Samsung Ladies Masters at Laguna National G&CC in Singapore.
 
Blomqvist, last years Ryder Cup Wales Rookie of the Year who has a penchant for carding low numbers as was highlighted by her two rounds of 62 on the LET last year, rattled off eight birdies and two bogeys and trails by a shot from first-round leader Bo Bae Song, the 2004 Korean LPGA order of merit winner whose faultless round of 65 included five birdies and an eagle.
 
New Zealander Lynnette Brooky sits in a three-way tie for third place at 4 under par alongside LET rookie Elisa Serramia from Spain and Marine Monnet-Melocco from France, whose 69 included a hole-in-one at the notoriously difficult par-3 17th hole, which earned her a brand new Renault Megane Coupe Cabriolet.
 
And tied for seventh place on 3-under-par 69 is pre-tournament favourite Laura Davies, Rebecca Coakley from Ireland and another Korean, Hey Kyung Son. Davies round included five birdies an eagle and four bogeys.
 
But it was the 19-year-old Blomqvist who set the pace for the LET members in this unique Tri-sanctioned event with the KLPGA and Ladies Asian Golf Tour.
 
The Finn admitted to being nervous at the beginning of her round but after birdies at the second, fifth and eighth, she settled. Despite a three-putt bogey at the long par-4 ninth, rated the toughest hole on the course, Blomqvist turned in 2-under 34 and responded with birdies at the 10th and 11th.
 
A poor chip at the 12th cost her another bogey, but the teenager, who has carded 62 on two occasions last season, notched up further birdies at the 13th, 16th and 17th to challenge for her second LET title.
 
Im a little amazed actually, said Blomqvist, who became the only player, male or female to shoot 10-under-par 62 in a major championship with her record round at Sunningdale during the 2004 Weetabix Womens British Open.
 
I was a little bit nervous at first as I was hitting it to the right all the time but after hitting it close at the second hole, I felt calm.
 
My goal this year was to come out this season and try and win a lot of tournaments and play as well as I can. I wasnt thinking about another 62, just to concentrate on one hole at a time and be positive on the course and not think bad or stupid things. I tried to make birdie on every hole in my mind.
 
Monnet-Melocco had the most profitable day on the course, mainly thanks to her first ever hole-in-one in her career. The 26-year-old from Paris explains:
 
I had 139 metres (153 yards) to the flag and I hit a little 5-iron; I gripped down on it, punched it and watched the ball bounce about two metres from the flag. It was on line all the way but I didnt think it would be a hole-in-one.
 
Its my first hole-in-one ever and my caddie said to me Id won the car, but I said no, I think it was for Saturdays round only. I lost my concentration for the next four holes and missed the green each time but I got it back together eventually.
 
My husband and I already own a Renault Clio and winning this is brilliant because its exactly the car we want!
 
Brooky, three times a winner on the LET, admitted to playing her golf with a new found freedom this season after announcing she was going to stop thinking about whats happening in her swing and just go out and play and take each score as it comes.
 
Before this year, I had a 10-year plan, now Im into the 11th year and Ive never been worse than 43rd on the order of merit. Ill be happy to keep inside the top 20 for the rest of my career before I retire, said Brooky, who racked up just 26 putts during her round.
 
Im really happy with my opening day and apparently, I was quite entertaining out there according to my playing partners. I only hit nine greens and one of them said to me thanks very much for the entertainment!