Team Dimmock led Team Nuutinen by one-stroke on Day 1 of the inaugural Saudi Ladies Team International at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club.
Teeing off in the sublime morning session on Tuesday, the team led by Annabel Dimmock of England – along with compatriot Charlotte Thompson and Norwegian Stina Reeson – ended the day at 17-under in the $500,000 tournament played over 54 holes across three days
The Saudi Ladies Team International is a first of its kind tournament where 37 teams have been selected via a unique draft system, with an amateur player also assigned to each team.
“We were all trying to hit good shots for each other, and we certainly felt like it was a team event,” said Dimmock. “Both Stina and I didn’t know our own score going down the 18th, and I usually know it.
“Stina got the first birdie on the fifth and we then we were like ‘let’s get the birdies going’. Then I holed my wedge shot on the next and then Charlotte got a birdie, so it was a real team effort.”
Team Nuutinen (-15) and Team Pedersen (-14), captained by Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF champion Emily Kristine Pedersen, trail the leaders in a tightly congested opening day leaderboard.
Finland’s Sanna Nuutinen (-6) was the standout individual player of the day following an impressive round of 66 that included an eagle on the fourth and five birdies.
“To be honest, I drove the ball better last week and today was a struggle off the tee,” said Nuutinen. “But I still played my best round this week and was good on the greens and made a few putts. It’s such an advantage playing this course multiple times, as you can be really precise on yardages.”
The highlight of the opening day’s play was Swede Jenny Haglund’s hole in one on the fifth, making her the first professional women’s golfer to make an ace in Saudi Arabia.
Haglund has a track-record when it comes to hole in ones, with this being the sixth of her career and her third in three years.