Lotta Wahlin Shows Lots Of Spirit After Cancer Scare To Lead Dubai Ladies Masters

Sweden’s Lotta Wahlin showed lots of spirit to lead the first round of the Dubai Ladies Masters reports Fatiha Betscher in Dubai.

Two years ago, Wahlin survived a cancer scare but on a superb scoring day in Dubai the 28-year old was nothing but smiles following a round of 66 that included six birdies and just one bogey on the Majlie course at the Emirates Club.

Lotta Wahlin on route to a first round 66 in the Dubai Ladies Masters.

Wahlin led by a shot from Wales’ Becky Brewerton and seven clear of pre tournament favourite Michelle Wie, the highest ranked player in the field.

Linda Wessberg of Sweden, Minea Blomqvist (Finland), Julieta Granada (Paraguay) and Stacy Lee Bregman (South Africa) were tied for third with 68s.

Britain’s all-time great Laura Davies stumbled with a 75 while Melissa Reid signed off with a level-par 72, two shots behind US teenage sensation Alexis Thompson.

But it was Wahlin who held centre-stage on the opening day of the season-ending Ladies European Tour event, promoted and organized by golf in DUBAi.

With her father Matts on the bag, Wahlin started at the 10th and picked up shots at the 12th and 13th, before dropping a stroke on the par-four 16th.

She then reeled off birdies at the second, fourth, sixth, seventh and ninth holes.

“I’m so happy as I finally had a good round, finally able to make all the putts. I’m just so happy,” said Wahlin, who is playing her first full year on the tour after the cancer scare.

She won two titles in Turkey and Wales in 2008 but at the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters two years ago, she received a telephone call from her doctor to inform her that a mole on her collar bone was actually skin cancer.

It meant missing most of the LET in 2010 and forced to play in the cooler climate on her own Swedish Tour.

But she returned this year, making seven cuts from 14 tournaments played with a season-best tie for 13th at the Sanya Ladies Open.

And after her sizzling 66 Wahlin admitted she felt like a rookie on tour this year with so many new players having emerged in a short space of time.

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