Caroline Hedwall struggles to first round 76 at the Helsingborg Open

Last Updated: 04/09/15 10:05am

Hedwall's without a top-25 finish all year

Caroline Hedwall's Solheim Cup preparations got off to a slow start with a first round 76 at the Helsingborg Open, where Nicole Broch Larsen holds a narrow lead.

Hedwall, the only member of Carin Koch's side in action this week, dropped two shots over her closing holes to post a three-over 76 and lie eight shots adrift of Larsen at Vasatorps Golf Club. 

The Swede had been looking for an upturn in form on home soil to take in to next week's major and then the Solheim Cup but lies tied for 90th, as compatriot and European vice-captain Maria McBride ran up a double-bogey on her final hole to end the day level par. 

First round leaders

-5 Nicole Broch Larsen (Den)
-4 Nanna Koerstz Madsen (Den)
-3 Charlotte Thompson (Eng)
-3 Pernilla Lindberg (Swe)
-3 Beth Allen (USA)
-3 Kylie Walker (Sco)
Others
-2 Laura Davies (Eng)
E Maria McBride (Swe)
+3 Caroline Hedwall (Swe)

Larsen posted eight birdies, including four in five holes, during an impressive opening round, but could have been further clear had it not been for a dropped shot at her final hole. 

"I really like the course, I feel good and I think I have something to show people after the last tournament in the Czech Republic," Larsen said.

Larsen holds a one-shot lead after the first round in Sweden

"I've been working hard the last few weeks to get here and be in contention again so it's nice that it worked today. I'm trying to keep it up for the next three days."

Nanna Koerstz Madsen recovered from an opening-hole double-bogey to close a four-under 69 and stay within one of the lead, while Charlotte Thompson birdied four of her final four holes to join the group a further stroke off the pace.

A bogey-free back nine form Beth Allen leaves the American also on three under and in a tie for third with Kylie Walker and top ranked Pernilla Lindberg, who reached the turn in 33 but was unable to make any further inroads on the front nine.

"I maybe could have wished for a shot or two better because I was four under making the turn," Lindberg said. "If someone offered me a three under this morning I would have taken it." 

Dame Laura Davies got off to a steady start at Vasatorps Golf Club with a two-under 71 and join Scotland's Carly Booth in the top ten, while Ladies Scottish Open champion Rebecca Artis sits five back.

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