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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 February, 2005, 08:05 GMT
Bagger off the pace in Australia
ANZ MASTERS R1 LEADERBOARD
Mianne Bagger at the ANZ Masters
GB&Ire unless stated
-9 A Miyazato (Jpn)
-6 K Hull (Aus)
-5 L Wessberg (Swe), N Campbell (Aus), KS Taylor
Transsexual golfer Mianne Bagger marked her debut on the Ladies European Tour with a level-par 72 in the ANZ Masters on Australia's Gold Coast.

The 38-year-old Dane, who underwent a sex-change operation in 1995, is the first transsexual to play as a full member of the Ladies European Tour.

She is nine shots behind teenager Ai Miyazato who fired a nine-under-par 63 to equal the course record.

The 19-year-old leads Australia's Katherine Hull by three shots.

Miyazato, who had five wins on the Japanese Tour last year, played the back nine first and went out in 31.

She began the front nine with four straight birdies and even had a chance to beat the course record but missed a 12-foot birdie putt at the last.

"I felt very relaxed, and I putted well," she said. "It was almost like being in Japan."

[Miyazato] hits a big ball for her size but putting is the key to her game
Katherine Hull
Miyazato is a massive celebrity in Japan and her group was followed by a large gallery as well as a host of cameramen and photographers.

And one stage officials had to issue a warning to the press because of the delays they caused.

"We had a bit of a problem with the media and the crowds," added Hull. "We had to back off a couple of shots but on the course, you can't let it get to you.

"Ai packs a punch. She hits a big ball for her size but putting is the key to her game."

England's Kirsty S Taylor is in the group on five under, while Lora Fairclough ended up on four under after a 68, a shot ahead of Laura Davies.




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