12 Sep 19
Rachael Goodall and Lucrezia Colombotto Rosso shared pole position after the first round of the WPGA International Challenge at Stoke by Nayland but it was the former who produced the shot of the day.
The 28-year-old Englishwoman had a hole-in-one at the 174-yards par-three ninth en route to a five-under-par round of 67 in the quest for the €5,600 first prize.
In addition to the ace, Goodall’s negotiation of the Gainsborough course at the Suffolk resort included four birdies, three coming in succession during a hot streak on the front nine which, climaxed by the albatross, saw her five-under at the turn.
By contrast, with the wind having an increasing influence, she was becalmed on the way home – a birdie at the par-five 14th was cancelled out by an anti-climatic bogey at the par-three 18th.
Reflecting on her round, Goodall (right) said: “The wind made life difficult. It was hard to judge because of the trees but I’m happy with the way I played.
“I drove the ball well and tried to be aggressive – I hit a driver on most of the par fours and missed just one fairway and two or three greens.
“Obviously the hole-in-one was the highlight of my round and a key factor in my score - it was the third I’ve had but the first one as a professional.”
Meanwhile, the number of letters in Lucrezia Colombotto Rosso’s name means a well-wisher or fan would be prevented from naming a racehorse after her – 18 characters is the maximum. Like Goodall, however, the Italian delivered a Thoroughbred performance.
She also found the front nine a more fertile hunting ground for birdies than the back. Four, tempered by one dropped shot, were recorded before the turn and two thereafter.
That the 23-year-old from Turin and Goodall are locked at the top of the leaderboard evoked memories of July’s Ribiera Sacra Partimonio de la Humanidad International Ladies Open in which the latter repelled the challenge of the former to win by two shots.
Given the identity and ‘previous’ of their closest pursuers, however, the chances of them going head-to-head for the title in the last of the three rounds is unlikely.
Lydia Hall of Wales, the winner in 2017 and runner up last year as a result of losing a play-off with Belgium’s Manon de Roey, showed her liking for the venue with a four-under-par round of 68. De Roey, meanwhile, is a shot further back on three-under.
Further down the leaderboard, England’s Holly Morgan is flying the flag for The PGA contingent. She posted a one-over-par round of 73 to be a shot clear of compatriot and fellow PGA Member Katie Rule.
A full list of scores can be accessed via this link: