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Campbell takes lead in Slovakia
June 20, 2013

Nikki Campbell

Australian Nikki Campbell hit a five-under-par 67 in hot and humid conditions at Golf Resort Talé to take the clubhouse lead on day one at the Allianz Ladies Slovak Open presented by Respect.

The 32-year-old Ladies European Tour rookie, from Canberra, mixed six birdies with a bogey around Gray Bear Golf Course on Thursday morning, but the highlight was a fantastic up and down on the treacherous par-4 sixth hole, which features a narrow and severely sloping green.

Campbell explained: “On six I hit a seven-iron in and I didn’t quite catch it, it caught the front edge. The green is quite treacherous from the front to the back so I had to hit a chip shot barely about three metres and it rolled all the way down the hill to a metre and a half.

“I hit it and didn’t think it was going to get there but just trickled over and went down to just over a metre and I made par so that was a highlight because it is a tricky green.”

Other highlights included “a really long putt on 17 that curled about four metres.” Other than that, she hit her irons in close, with further birdies on holes two, four, 13, 15 and 18.

Campbell has played most of her 10-year career in Japan, with two victories on the JLPGA. After eight starts on the LET this season, she is ranked 16th on the LET’s ISPS Handa Order of Merit with a best finish of tied fifth in New Zealand. She has been a consistent performer, with three further finishes in the top 20.

She ended the morning session three strokes clear of Louise Larsson, Connie Chen and Sophie Sandolo, although by mid-afternoon several additional names were on the leader board.

England’s Henrietta Zuel played her first nine on the back, in four-under-par to be within a stroke of the lead, closely followed by Swedish rookies Rebecca Sorensen and Daniela Holmqvist and the Swiss Melanie Maetzler.


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