Nightmarish start for Sharmila in French tourney

Updated: Oct 05, 2012, 15:09 PM IST

Saint-Jean-de-Luz (France): Indian golfer Sharmila Nicollet struggled to a disastrous 10-over 80 in the opening round to virtually put herself out of the running for a place in the last two rounds of the Lacoste Ladies Open de France here.

She was lying bottom of the heap at tied 77th. Sharmila, who has struggled on the Ladies European Tour this season, shot nine bogeys and one double bogey against just one solitary birdie on the fifth.

Australian Stacey Keating opened with an eight-under 62 in ideal conditions to grab a four-shot lead.

Keating won her first professional title in her last start on the Ladies European Tour a fortnight ago, at the Tenerife Open de Espana.

The 26-year-old from Cressy in Victoria continued her solid play, starting with three birdies in a row and was six-under through the turn at Chantaco Golf Club.

She hit 17 greens and made 28 putts, with her boyfriend Darren Peters on caddie duties.

Chantaco, steeped in history, is the home club of the Lacoste family where former US Women`s Open champion Catherine Lacoste, was president for 35 years before her niece, Camille, took over the role in 2009.

Retired former number one Lorena Ochoa, playing at the request of the sponsor, shot a one-under 69. Ochoa won two majors among 27 victories before retiring from full-time golf in April 2010 to focus on her family and charities.

The 30-year-old from Mexico was playing her first round on tour in two years.