ANATALYA, Turkey - LSU sophomore golfer Madelene Sagstrom fired an even-par 72 to help propel two-time champion Sweden into the lead by one stroke over Latvia after the first round Thursday of the 2012 Women's World Amateur Team Championship.
Sagstrom teamed with Daniela Holmquvist, a former University of California golfer, who fired a 3-under 69 for a total of 3-under 141. The third player from Sweden, Nathalie Mansson, added a non-counting round of 73.
Sweden previously won the Espirito Santo Trophy in 2004 and 2008.
"We had a solid game from all of them," said Swedish Captain KG Nissen. "It was a good, solid start."
Sagstrom, playing the Glory Golf Club's Old Course (one of two being used for the event), had three birdies and three bogeys on her card for the opening day, shooting 1-under 35 coming home over the final nine holes.
The Women's World Amateur Team Championship is a biennial international amateur competition conducted by the International Golf Federation, which comprises national governing bodies of golf in 126 countries and international professional tours, the Women's World Amateur Team Championship is a biennial international amateur competition. The competition, which is being held for the 25th time, is rotated among three geographic zones: Asia-Pacific, Americas and Europe-Africa.
In each round, the total of the two lowest scores from each team constitutes the team score for the round. The four-day (72-hole) total is the team's score for the championship.
Holmquvist, 24, who graduated from the University of California-Berkeley and earned honorable mention All-America honors in 2012, carded five birdies against two bogeys.
Sweden is attempting to extend its streak of 24 consecutive championships finishing in the top 10. It has won a medal in four consecutive championships: gold in 2004, silver in 2006, gold in 2008 and bronze in 2010. The Swedish players know about the history.
"All of the [past Swedish] players competing at the [Women's] British Open signed a flag for us and they are tweeting their support," Holmqvist said.
Latvia, which is playing in its third Espirito Santo Trophy competition, countered Sweden's pace with the play of sisters Krista and Mara Puisite, who are American college teammates at Texas State. Both are playing in their third WWATC. Krista Puisite, 21, got her round at Gloria Golf Club's New Course to five under but finished with a 2-under 70. Her sister, Mara, 20 finished with an even-par 72.
Five teams are clustered in a tie for third place at 1-under-par 143: Canada, Czech Republic, Japan, New Zealand and Spain. Six more teams, including defending champion Republic of Korea, are tied for eighth place at even-par 144. The others at 144 were: Australia, Belgium, France, Germany and Singapore.
For complete results, visit www.internationalgolffederation.org and click on the Golfstat icon.