Diksha Dagar & H.E Yasir Al-Rumayyan lead at the Aramco Team Series
Georgia Hall's captain's performance has given the Major winner's team a one-shot lead after Day 1 of the Aramco Team Series – Jeddah.
Team Hall – the 25-year-old, her captain's draught pick Maha Haddioui of Morocco, Diksha Dagar of India, and the fourball's amateur player, H.E Yasir Al-Rumayyan, chairman of Aramco and Golf Saudi – carded an opening round of -19 to lead the $1million tournament, which follows last week's Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, King Abdulla Hall finished that event 13-under-par for her final three rounds – and by going bogey-free en route to a seven-under-par 65, she appears to have carried that form into this week's competition.
"Bogey-free is always a nice round here," Hall said, who also leads the tournament's individual format on Day 1 with Germany's Olivia Cowan.
"I tried to take advantage of the light wind, but I still missed a few cuts, but I'm happy with -7."
Diksha Dagar, Hall's teammate who missed the cut at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International, wasted no time in making amends today, shooting a 68 in the first round.
"Today was very good in general," Dakar said. I had a great start, and we have a great team. We have a chance, and we can pick it up tomorrow and keep playing good golf."
Maha Haddioui became the first Arabic golfer to lead a Ladies European Tour event after its first day after playing a key role in helping her team storm to the top of the leaderboard.
"It was a lot of fun playing as a team," Haddioui, a fan favourite in Saudi Arabia, said. "I got off to a good start but couldn't maintain it on the back nine." But I still made a few good pars when I needed to and had a few birdies on the front nine, so it was a good day."
Team Carlota Ciganda, which includes the Spaniard, compatriot Harang Lee, Germany's Leticia Ras-Anderica, and amateur Lee Seung Su, is in second place.
"I'm having a good time on this course," Ciganda said. "The back nine was difficult." There was a lot of wind today, and the last few holes weren't easy, but we did great as a team – when one player was in trouble, another was ready to help. That's what you're looking for in this format. I had a great time with Harang, Leticia, and our amateur today, and we're excited for tomorrow."
Olivia Cowan took home the Aramco Team Series – London's team title – in July. With two rounds to go and a share of the lead with Hall, the German could now end this year's Series run with a solo victory as well. Team Cowan is also only three points behind Team Hall.
"I think we just worked really well as a team," Cowan said. The other two assisted on some of the holes where one did not perform well. We had a lot of birdies, which helped a lot. Our amateur is very easy to talk to and very relaxed. We all get along great, so we make a great team. The most important thing is to have fun out there – and we're having fun, so we're playing well."
The Aramco Team Series – Jeddah is the fourth and final of four new $1 million team tournaments added to the Ladies European Tour this season, joining events in London, Sotogrande, and New York. It will be repeated on Thursday and Friday.