Keating Grabs Four-Shot Lead
By Golf 365 | October 6, 2012 7:22 AM EST
Australian Stacey Keating opened with an eight under par 62 in ideal conditions to grab a four shot lead at the Lacoste Ladies Open de France on Thursday.
Keating won her first professional title in her last start on the Ladies European Tour a fortnight ago, at the Tenerife Open de España.
The 26-year-old from Cressy in Victoria continued her solid play, starting with three birdies in a row and was six under through the turn at Chantaco Golf Club in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, south west France.
She three-putted on 11 but picked up three straight birdies from the 15th to record her career best round in two seasons as a professional.
"I've been playing well the last few weeks obviously, but it's nice to put it all together in one round," said Keating. "I'm feeling very confident about my game right now and I'm happy where I am."
She hit 17 greens and made 28 putts, with her boyfriend Darren Peters on caddie duties.
"Daz was on fire with his reads. It's really nice putting on these greens. They are really, really good," said Keating, who made nine birdie putts, with her longest from 30 feet across the third green and her shortest a tap-in on six.
Chantaco, steeped in history, is the home club of the Lacoste family where former US Women's Open champion, Catherine Lacoste, was president for 35 years before her niece, Camille, took over the role in 2009.
The Lacoste sponsored players performed particularly well with Azahara Muñoz of Spain and French duo Virginie Lagoutte-Clement and Sophie Giquel-Bettan all at four under par, alongside Lydia Hall of Wales.
Solheim Cup player Muñoz started slowly with two birdies against one bogey on the front nine, but picked up three shots in her last four holes.
"I finished with three birdies in a row, 15, 16, 17, so that kind of leaves a sweet taste in my mouth," she said. "I played kind of solid, but didn't hit many good shots. I didn't make many putts at the beginning but at the end I started rolling the ball much better."
Giquel credited a change in strategy: "I was more aggressive than usual. I used to aim for the middle of the greens and think that two putts is good. Now it's like, go for the pin, even if you miss it's not a big deal because you've got good chipping and putting," she said.
Lagoutte-Clement revealed that she hadn't enjoyed golf for a year, but has been working with French mental coach, Emmanuelle Simtaine, for the last six months.
"I just try to feel well and I just want to play my game and take pleasure, because I can't take pleasure for one year. I want to play my game and relax," she said.
Hall, who won the ISPS Handa Ladies British Masters in August, was in the hunt for a second title and said: "I definitely like this style of course. I can be fairly aggressive and the greens are in fantastic condition as well.
"They are very tricky: the greens are quick, so I had a couple of three-putts out there today. I played very solid, hit 17 greens, 10 fairways, so I think I missed only one fairway and played really solid."
Retired former number one Lorena Ochoa, playing at the request of the sponsor, shot a one-under round of 69.
Ochoa won two majors among 27 victories before retiring from full-time golf in April 2010 to focus on her family and charities.
After her first round on tour in two years, she said: "I think for sure, I made a couple of mistakes out there that made me mad, but I think it was a good day. I was trying to go around in par."
The 30-year-old from Mexico admitted that the lack of practice had affected her short game: "I three putted a couple of times and it made me really mad, but it's okay. I have to bear with some bad shots. I think tomorrow, if I get the speed right, especially on the front nine, if I feel more comfortable, I'm going to make more putts and make more birdies."
Most Popular Slideshows
- Still The World Champions: Team USA Overpowers Serbia, 129-92 To Win 2014 FIBA World Cup [PHOTOS]
- Pope Francis: World War III Has Started On Piecemeal
- After Win Over Maidana, Mayweather Says He Is Prepared To Negotiate A Fight With Pacquiao
- From Fat To Fit: Celebrities Who Were Overweight Before They Became The Beauties That They Are
Join the Conversation
- Manny Pacquiao Begins Training Sans Freddie Roach
- Boxing News 2014: Showtime VP Favours Pacquiao As Mayweather’s Next Ring Opponent; Money May Insists Fight Should Be Over Showtime PPV Only
- Three Reasons Why Brock Lesnar Must Fight The Undertaker At Night Of Champions And Not John Cena [VIDEO]
- Michael Schumacher Rehabilitation Update: F1 Champion In-Home Health Care And Services Consist Of 15 Medical Staff
- Miami Heat Prepare For Life Without LeBron James, To Feature More Of Wade And Bosh In New System
- iOS 8 Release Date Of Sept 17 Has Arrived: Update Begins At 10AM Pacific Time, Upgrade Your iDevices With iOS 7.1.2 First To Install iOS 8
- Pregnant Kate Middleton May Call Off Malta Trip Due To Sickness: Royal Couple Will Move To Anmer Hall Residence
- iPhone 6 Plus vs Xiaomi Mi4 – The iPhone Killer Certainly Can Battle Well With The New Apple Phablet
- Ukraine Crisis: Poland Denies Supplying Weapons To Kiev
- Google Nexus 8 Release Date Countdown Begins Oct 8: 8 Killer Specs and Features to Expect
- Malaysia Airlines Flight MF 370: Indonesian Police Chief Claims He Knows What Happened To Missing Jet
- HTC Desire 820 (Octa-Core) vs. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact – Specifications, Features, Release Date And Price Showdown