Davies drops off pace

The defending champion, Laura Davies, fell off the lead when she returned yesterday morning to complete a storm-delayed first round of the Compaq Open at Barseback, near Malmö in Sweden.

The defending champion, Laura Davies, fell off the lead when she returned yesterday morning to complete a storm-delayed first round of the Compaq Open at Barseback, near Malmö in Sweden.

Davies was three under par with three holes to play when strong gusting winds and torrential rain forced a premature halt on Thursday evening.

But she ran up a double-bogey six after driving into trees at the eighth - her 17th - in yesterday's sunshine and had to settle for a 71, two behind the joint Swedish leaders, Annika Sorenstam and Sara Eklund.

Sweden's Sorenstam, the 1998 champion and world No 2, completed her four-birdie round before the storm set in, while Eklund made two birdies yesterday morning.

England's Kirsty Taylor, joint runner-up in the British Open last week, maintained her run of form with a two-under-par 70 to take a share of third place.

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