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Ladies European Tour

Swayne and Boqvist lead at Dromoland Castle, with Maguire lurking in Ireland

Alexandra Swayne. LET

By Matt Smith
Alexandra Swayne and Lina Boqvist both fired opening rounds of 65 to sit at the top of the leaderboard on seven-under on the first day of the KPMG Women’s Irish Open.

The duo enjoyed the better of the conditions at Dromoland Castle with sunshine all afternoon following the morning’s rainfall.

For LET rookie Swayne, who began her round on the 10th tee, her only bogey of the day came at the 12th before she rolled in four birdies to make the turn in 34 .

Further birdies on the second, fifth, seventh and ninth holes ensured the US Virgin Islands native carded a round of seven-under-par on day one.

“It was a good day,” she said. “I can’t complain at all, it was a good group so that made it easy. I was just seeing shots and hitting them. There was nothing to it and there was nothing special honestly. I just made a lot of putts which helped.

“I actually haven’t been playing my best, but I know going into tournaments to have no expectations and that’s what I had today and that’s quite helpful. I’ve learned that’s what gets me able to have lower rounds.”

While it was a similar story for Sweden’s Boqvist who also started on the 10th tee and rolled in five birdies on her front nine including four consecutively from 15 to 18.

The 31-year-old then dropped her only shot of the day on the second hole before making additional birdies on the third, sixth and seventh holes.

“It was a solid golf round,” said Boqvist. “I played very well. I had a few saves for par and then a lot of birdies, so it was a nice day on the course.”

Three players are in a tie for third place on six-under-par with England’s Annabel Dimmock, Czech Klara Spilkova and France’s Anne-Lise Caudal all shooting rounds of 66.

Seven players are in a tie for sixth place on five-under including home favourite and Solheim Cup star Leona Maguire.

The LPGA Tour winner started her day with a bogey at the first before a birdie on the third, but soon dropped another shot with a bogey on fifth.

However, after that the Irishwoman carded three birdies in-a-row on holes six through eight and finished in style with three birdies in her final four holes to be two shots back.

“It was nice that little birdie run on the front for a bit of momentum on six, seven, eight,” said Maguire. “I putted nicely today. I didn’t drive the ball quite as well as I would have liked but overall took advantage of the shorter holes coming in and it was nice to birdie three of the last four.

“It’s been a fantastic venue. The course even after the rain this morning was in great shape and the greens were rolling really nice. I’m looking forward to three more days.

“Anytime you make a few birdies the energy levels always go up. It’s been a busy few weeks, but it’s nice to be back in front of home fans and there’s been a few people around today and it’s nice to get those cheers when you hole a putt or hit a nice shot and it spurs you on a little bit more.”

Maguire sits alongside Sweden’s Elin Arvidsson, England’s Gabriella Cowley, Austria’s Christine Wolf, Dutch star Anne Van Dam, Wales’ Chloe Williams and Scotland’s Michele Thomson.

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