Two double-bogeys on her front nine saw Olivia Mehaffey fall six shots off the lead after the opening round of the Investec South African Women’s Open following a two-over 74 at Steenberg Golf Club.
The Tandragee woman dropped two shots on each of the par-five fifth and par-three seventh in an otherwise solid day’s work in Cape Town which leaves her six strokes behind early leader Magdalena Simmermacher.
After making the cut at last week’s Joburg Ladies Open but finishing well down the leaderboard, Mehaffey is hoping for a better week on the Ladies European Tour and she sits 30th after the opening round.
The former Arizona State star had started well with a birdie on her opening hole, but those double-bogeys saw her drop over-par, although it would only be to one-over at the turn as she responded to both with birdies at the sixth and eighth.
Two more bogeys on the back nine, at the 10th and 16th, saw her finish the day two-over after she added another birdie at the par-five 12th and, while she is in a good position to make the cut again, she will hope for better on day two.
Simmermacher, meanwhile, did well to respond to a bogey on her second hole of the day with five birdies in a four-over 68 to give herself a one-shot lead after the opening round in Cape Town.
Sweden’s Josefine Nyquist and England’s Alice Hewson, who was in contention in Johannesburg last week, are the Argentine’s closest challengers after both signed for three-under 69s, with four players sharing fourth after two-under 70s.