Dicks surges ahead

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Wendy Dicks made her best start in three years as a professional to lead after the first round of the English Women's Open at The Oxfordshire club yesterday. The Essex player shot a stunning five-under-par 67 to head Lancashire's Diane Barnard by one stroke, finishing with three birdies in her last five holes.

Laura Davies, the British and world No 1, was five strokes back after a level par round.

ENGLISH WOMEN'S OPEN (The Oxfordshire) Leading first-round scores (GB or Irl unless stated, *denotes amateur): 67 W Dicks; 68 D Barnard; 69 D Reid, F Dassu (It); 70 K Speak, C Louw (SA), M Bertilskold (Swe), S Mendiburu (Fr), J Morley, C Hjalmarsson (Swe), P Grice-Whittaker; 71 A Arruti (Sp), T Johnson, K Orum (Den), S Hodge, P Sterner (Swe), S Bennett, M-L de Lorenzi (Fr), L Fairclough, I Maconi (It); 72 R Millington, S Moon (US), L Davies, R Comstock (US), L Tadiotto (Bel), C Rasmussen (Den), S Dalongeville (Fr), R Lautens (Swit), C Duffy; 73 S Melin (Swe), M Madill, A Radford, M McKinlay, A Brighouse, V Michaud (Fr), K Pearce (Aus), C Dibnah (Aus), R Hetherington (Aus), S Gronberg (Swe), C Sorenstam (Swe), T Loveys; 74 J Brown, S Yamamoto (Japan), L Navarro (Sp), H Koch (Swe), B Pestana (SA), S Nicklin, S Prosser, J Soulsby, R Carriedo (Sp), J Forbes, A Nicholas, C Eliasson-Wharton (Swe), L Irvine, L Brooky (NZ), M Burstrom (Swe).