Davies' cup overflows

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The Independent Online

Laura Davies shrugged off a 10-day break from golf with yet another impressive display with a 68, four under par, in the opening round of the Evian Masters here yesterday, writes Bill Johnson from Evian.

"I am amazed how well I hit the ball after a rest," said the swashbuckling Davies, whose only dropped shot was at the third where she drove into a bunker. She completed her round with a drive and seven iron to the 447- yard 18th for her fifth birdie of the day.

It left Davies alongside her Solheim Cup colleagues Trish Johnson, Annika Sorenstam and Catrin Nilsmark from Sweden, and Lisa Hackney, but one stroke behind Helen Wadsworth, from Wales, who leads on 67, a new course record.

Wadsworth, who finished second in the South African Open earlier this year, only once exceeded par when a two-iron tee shot found sand at the short 14th hole before making birdies at two of the next three holes to come home in 33.

Lake Geneva, overlooked by the course, was like a millpond on a benign hot day. Johnson was certainly making the most of the conditions when she reached five-under following a birdie at the 12th hole. Sorenstam, the Australian Open champion, eagled the last for her 68 while Alison Nicholas erased two sixes with a run of three birdies in four holes from the 10th for her 71.