Golf: Fairclough's flying start

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LORA FAIRCLOUGH, who suffered the disappointment of disqualification from the British Open at Woburn last week, defied strong winds for an opening round of 72 in the IBM Open here yesterday, writes John Bolton from Haninge, Stockholm.

The Lancashire golfer was just one stroke behind an amateur, Sofie Eriksson, whose two-under-par 71 spearheaded a determined Swedish bid for a third consecutive title. She was disqualified at Woburn after pointing out to officials that she had signed for a wrong score. 'It was an expensive mistake and cost me 10 places on the Order of Merit, but it was my own fault,' she said.

Fairclough twice found sand at the seventh and 11th holes to wipe out the early birdies she made at the second and fourth, but came back with a putt of five feet for a birdie two at the 16th.

Eriksson upstaged eight members of Europe's winning Solheim Cup side, including Laura Davies, who was three over par after 12. Davies, however, produced a late flourish, finishing with an eagle three for a round of 74.