Golf: Morley on the charge

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The Independent Online
Britain's Joanne Morley and Amy Alcott, of the United States, took advantage of ideal conditions to fire five-under-par 67s to lead the Evian Masters after the first round yesterday.

They lead the French event by one stroke from Yorkshire's Alison Nicholas, with Hiromi Kobayashi from Japan on 69.

Laura Davies, chasing a third consecutive title, three-putted three times for a 74 to finish alongside the US Open champion Annika Sorenstam, who also struggled on the greens at Evian's Royal Club. "I hit 15 greens, which usually means a four-under-par round," Davies said. "My short game cost me again but seven shots can be made up with three rounds to go."

Morley, of Cheshire, came home in 32, holing putts of four and 20 feet for birdies at the 16th and 17th, followed by an eagle from 18 feet at the long 18th hole. Alcott, winner of 29 LPGA titles, also had a stunning run of birdies. She achieved five in a row from the eighth then fired a three-wood second into the green for a closing birdie four at the last hole.

EVIAN MASTERS (Royal Club, Evian): First round scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 67 J Morley, A Alcott (US); 68 A Nicholas; 69 H Kobayashi (Japan); 70 T Johnson, S Waugh (Aus); 71 C Hj Koch (Swe), M Lunn (Aus), P Sterner (Swe), L Hackney, L Brooky (NZ); 72 K Poppmeier (Aut), C Dibnah (Aus), H Alfredsson (Swe), K Marshall, V Skinner (US), M Hjorth (Swe), M Sutton, L Merten (US), J Forbes; 73 M-L de Lorenzi (Fr), M Koch (Ger), N Lowien (Aus), E Knuth (Sp), A Gottmo (Swe); 74 W Dicks, M-G Estuesta (Phil), X Wunsch (Sp), F Dassu (It), L Fairclough, L Davies, A Sorenstam (Swe), D Reid, C Sorenstam (Swe), C Blaylock (US).