For weary Watson
Scot snatches lead against the odds
FATIGUE, limited preparation and a brand-new golf course posed no problems for Scotland’s Sally Watson as she shot to the outright lead in the women’s Vic Open.
Watson, who won a host of amateur tournaments before turning pro at the end of 2013, recorded a bogey-free round of 69 to take a one-shot advantage into today’s second round at Thirteenth Beach.
Norway’s Marianne Skarpnord, American Beth Allen and Australian Steph Na are tied for second at three-under.
Watson, who was born in Edinburgh but resides in California, revealed she had travelled from the other side of the world to contest the Vic Open.
“I didn’t know what to expect because I actually hadn’t played that golf course before,” Watson said.
“I just arrived on Monday night from Scotland, played the pro-am on Tuesday at 7.45, which was a nice little start, and I had four hours sleep.
“So I just decided to walk the course yesterday, instead of playing it, which happened to work out well.”
Watson admitted she was “super proud” to produce four under the card.
“I was saying to my caddie that I don’t actually think that (bogey-free round) happened last year,” she said.
“I had some good rounds but normally there was a mistake here or there. I missed both nine and 10 greens and made two nice putts to save par there, other than that I hit a lot of greens and had good pace on the greens, which was nice.”
Entering her second year as a professional, Watson said her maiden year was an eye opener.
“To be honest I didn’t know what to expect. I travelled to over 17 different countries last year and half of them I’d never been to before, so it was definitely an incredible experience,” she said.
“I’m feeling a lot more prepared for this year. Tour school is a really intense process and the European Tour doesn’t finish until right before Christmas, so after that you really want to put the clubs away for a couple of weeks.
“So I really didn’t have a pre-season to prepare myself and this year I had a nice three-week spell in Florida, which helped to get everything you want back in shape.
“The work seems to be paying off, which is nice, and to be honest it’s the first round and with my preparation being not-existent today was always going to be hit or miss.”