Davies in the hunt again

England’s Laura Davies enjoyed a happy return to Oslo Golf Club with an opening 69 to lie just two shots off the lead after the first round of the SAS Masters.

England’s Laura Davies enjoyed a happy return to Oslo Golf Club with an opening 69 to lie just two shots off the lead after the first round of the SAS Masters.

Davies won the Norwegian Masters over the same course four years ago and raised her hopes of a repeat with four birdies to claim a share of second, two shots behind France’s Virginie Lagoutte.

Lagoutte, whose only European Tour title came in last year’s KLM Dutch Open, led on five under after a round of five birdies and an eagle, while Kirsty Taylor and Sarah Heath joined compatriot Davies in the group on three under.

Yorkshire’s Rebecca Hudson, who enjoyed her breakthrough victory in Hungary last month, was another shot back on 70 after birdies at the 16th and 17th.

“It’s always good to come back to a course where you have won before and it’s also nice to keep up the good form that I’ve been enjoying over the summer,” said Davies, who has had four second places in Europe this season.

Taylor’s only win came in last year’s Wales’ Ladies Championship of Europe but she finished seventh here four years ago and again showed her liking for the Oslo course with a round highlighted by a run of four birdies in six holes from the turn. Her only bogey came at the 18th.

Heath, who has only made three cuts all season, made her best start of the year thanks to four birdies and an eagle at the long second.

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