Queenslander Karis Davidson has made an impressive start to the Vic Open, taking the lead after the first round at the Creek Course in 13th Beach Golf Links. Davidson, who had a strong rookie year on the LPGA Tour, carried her excellent form into the WPGA Tour of Australasia. She finished the day with a stellar 7-under 66, including a blistering 6-under on her opening nine holes.
Playing alongside defending champion Jiyai Shin and fellow Australian Cassie Porter in one of the featured groups, Davidson outperformed her competitors, securing a one-shot lead over Kelsey Bennett from New South Wales. Bennett also had a great round, recording eight birdies.
Sarah-Jane Smith, Jeongmin Cho, and Ashley Lau share third place at 5-under, trailing Davidson by two shots.
This is not the first time Davidson has impressed at the Vic Open. She came close to victory in previous editions, finishing as the runner-up to Minjee Lee in 2018 and Hannah Green in 2022. Reflecting on her performance, Davidson expressed her love for the tournament and the courses at 13th Beach Golf Links. She has also built a strong relationship with her hosts, Peter and Janine, who live by the second hole on the Creek Course.
Davidson had a successful year on the LPGA Tour in 2023, earning full status for the upcoming season. Her high finish at the Buick LPGA Shanghai showcased her ability to post good scores consistently, boosting her confidence for future rounds.
While Davidson leads the field, she faces tough competition from Bennett and other contenders. Defending champion Jiyai Shin had a solid start with a 2-under 71, currently sitting five shots behind the lead. Australian legend Karrie Webb, however, struggled and will need to make improvements after finishing with a 2-over 75.
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