Smriti Mehra negated a superb front nine with a patchy back nine as she returned a card of two-over 74 to be tied 38th on the opening day of the Sanya Ladies Open here today.
 
The 40-year-old veteran, who finished in the top-10 at the Ladies Indonesian Open, was three-under through her first nine holes. But she stumbled with double bogeys on 10th and 12th and a bogey on 17th to finish with a disappointing round of 74 here at the Yalong Bay Golf Club.
 
Joanna Klatten of France grabbed the first round lead with an opening-round three under par 69.
 
The 27-year-old ended a hot and blustery first round one shot ahead of fellow Frenchwoman Celine Palomar and Numa Gulyanamitta of Thailand, while a further seven players shared fourth place a shot further back.
 
Klatten shot four birdies and a bogey on her tournament debut and said that her prodigious length off the tee was an advantage.
 
"I don’t think I’ve ever driven the ball this well," she said, adding that her long drives allowed her to hit low punch shots into the greens. Her longest drive, on the par-four 18th hole, which was playing down wind, measured 290 metres.
 
 

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