Vic Open: Alejandro Canizares leads as Dame Laura Davies impresses
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 06/02/20 9:27am
Alejandro Canizares holds a two-shot lead at the ISPS Handa Vic Open, while Dame Laura Davies made a strong start to the women's event.
Canizares birdied his last three holes to a post a nine-under 63 at 13th Beach Golf Club, where both the men's and women's events are being played over the same courses for equal prize money.
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The Spaniard's score came on the Creek Course - one of two being used this week - with 10 birdies and a sole blemish pulling him clear of Australian quartet Justin Warren, Jake McLeod, Travis Smyth, and Matthew Griffin.
"It was a great round," Canizares said. "I putted really well, I hit the ball well as well, I don't think I missed many greens. It was one of those days where you saw the hole pretty big.
Starting on the back nine, Canizares made a two-putt gain at the tenth and posted three consecutive birdies from the 12th before cancelling out a bogey at the 16th by picking up a shot at the next.
A first-nine 32 was followed by birdies at the first, third and seventh, with Canizares then draining a 25-footer at the eighth and adding another at the ninth - his final hole - to set the clubhouse target.
Warren's opening-round 65 was the lowest of the day on the Beach Course, with defending champion David Law starting with a four-under 68 and top seed Haotong Li is a further shot behind.
In the women's tournament, sanctioned by the LPGA Tour, Sweden's Madelene Sagstrom posted a bogey-free 65 to sit in a share of the lead alongside Korea's Haeji Kang.
Sweden Linnea Strom is one of three players a shot off the pace in tied-third, while Davies marked her first worldwide appearance since August by mixing eight birdies with two bogeys in an opening-round 67.
"If I make the cut, certainly the first cut and the second cut would be a huge bonus after six months not playing tournament golf," Davies said. "It was nice for me to get out and get a really good round in."
Northern Ireland's Stephanie Meadow posted a bogey-free 67 on the Beach Course to sit tied-15th, while defending champion Celine Boutier is in the group on level par alongside Mel Reid.
Watch the ISPS Handa Vic Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Friday from 4am on Sky Sports Golf!