Pettersen in control at SAS Masters

World number six Suzann Pettersen gave a golfing master class to her home fans during the first round of the SAS Masters in Norway.

World number six Suzann Pettersen gave a golfing master class to her home fans during the first round of the SAS Masters in Norway.

The 26-year-old from Oslo posted a bogey-free eight-under-par 64 to lead the field by four strokes.

Germany’s Anja Monke is in second on four under par after a 68, while three players are on three under.

Italian Diana Luna was among the day’s early starters and finished on three under alongside Australian Nikki Garrett, who posted a clubhouse lead as she went in pursuit of her third Ladies European Tour victory of the year.

European Solheim Cup team member Gwladys Nocera also finished on three under.

Pettersen was greeted with rapturous applause as she teed off alongside last week’s Wales Ladies Championship of Europe winner Joanne Mills and KLM Ladies Open winner Nocera.

It was a great start for Pettersen – a two-time winner on this year’s LPGA Tour - who made three birdies in her first four holes to state her intention at the Losby Golf Club, which lies just 20 minutes from her home.

She closed her front nine with a brace of birdies to take the outright lead on five under, leaving a clutch of players on three under mid-round.

Her back nine featured an eagle at the third and a birdie at the seventh, although a par save on the final hole will have ranked alongside her day’s greatest achievements after making a spectacular 100-yard approach shot from a difficult fairway bunker to within 30 feet of the pin.

“Was that the perfect day? I guess you can say so – at home, playing good golf, rolling the putts in. It doesn’t get much better,” Pettersen said.

“You always feel a little bit of pressure being at home but it feels like I’ve got a lot of experience to keep out the pressure. I just work in my own little bubble.”

The English duo of Georgina Simpson and Danielle Masters finished on two under 70 and tied for seventh position.

Simpson managed to play another tournament – the Zurich Open – in the two days between her second-place finish at last week’s Wales Ladies Championship of Europe and Norway and admitted to feeling slightly tired.

“It’s been a bit of a struggle, but I’m really happy to be two under,” she said.

“I holed great putts and hit 16 greens despite not hitting the ball well. I’m really happy to come off with that score.”

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