Doolan led a charmed life on the greens, displaying a silken touch with her putter which she used on only 24 occasions, including the four-footer for a birdie which got away on the last green.
Inevitably there was a Davies in close attendance. It was not the world No 1, however, but Karen Davies from Wales, who completed a fine 68 after coming home in 32.
"I have been in the doldrums for a while since losing my LPGA card three years ago, but it is coming back and I am beginning to enjoy my golf again," said Davies, who twice played in undefeated Curtis Cup sides during the 1980s.
Back-to-back birdies at the 10th and 11th gave Davies an encouraging start home. She then holed a downhill putt of 15 feet for a two at the short 15th, then found the green with a five-wood second for a birdie four at the 467-yard 18th hole.
But there was no cause for Laura Davies to celebrate after an uncharacteristic 79. An eight at the long second hole where she needed four attempts to escape from the woods set the fashion. "It was a horrible start, horrible in the middle and a horrible finish," she said in summing up her day.
Doolan, who had eight birdies in her round of 65, leads by two strokes from the American Jane Geddes, a former British Open champion, with Annika Sorenstam and Evely Orley joining Karen Davies on 68 to share third place.
HENNESSY CUP (Cologne) Leading first-round scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 65 W Doolan (Aus); 67 J Geddes (US); 68 K Davies, A Sorenstam (Swe), E Orley (Swit); 69 S Gronberg (Swe), A Nicholas, M Hageman (Neth), M-L de Lorenzi (Fr); 70 J Morley, C Dibnah (Aus), T Johnson, R Hetherington (Aus); 71 K Orum (Den), K Webb (Aus), D Reid, L Neumann (Swe), L Maritz-Atkins (SA); 72 S Waugh (Aus), M Madill, M Lunn (Aus), H Dobson, J Forbes, H Wadsworth, J McGill (US), G Stewart; 73 D Dowling, K Lunn (Aus), L Fairclough, H Alfredsson (Swe), D Barnard, P Meunier (Fr), S Croce (It), S Prosser, A Gottmo (Swe), S Hodge, X Wunsch (Sp), A Shapcott.Reuse content