Mehaffey makes steady start at Joburg Ladies Open

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Mehaffey makes steady start at Joburg Ladies Open

Olivia Mehaffey (Photo By John Dickson/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Olivia Mehaffey is just four shots off the lead after the opening round of the Joburg Ladies Open on the Ladies European Tour, the Co Down woman opening with a level-par 73 at Modderfontein Golf Club.

However, that only tells part of the story as the Tandragee ace had to battle back from two double-bogeys in her first four holes to card a respectable score that has her in a share of 13th after the first round.

That leaves her four strokes behind leader Maria Hernandez of Spain, the only player to shoot a round in the 60s as her four-under 69 has her two shots ahead of the chasing pack.

After a double-bogey on the par-five first and another at the par-four fourth – with a birdie at the par-four second an excellent bounce back – Mehaffey responded superbly with birdies at the fifth, seventh and ninth to reach the turn in level-par.

She would break under-par with another birdie at the 10th, only for back-to-back bogeys at 11 and 12 to drop her back to one-over, however a birdie to close at the 18th saw Mehaffey finish the day where she began.

Hernandez, meanwhile, was excellent on day one as five birdies and a bogey led to a four-under 69, with three of her birdies coming in her final five holes in a superb finish to her round.

The US Virgin Islands’ Alexandra Swayne, Germany’s Luisa Dittrich, Denmark’s Smilla Tarning Soderby and Italy’s Virginia Elena Carta are all tied for second after two-under 71s, with England’s Alice Hewson and Sweden’s Linn Grant among those who shot 72s.

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