Ladies European Tour
Jun 3rd, 2022
Metraux sisters share lead with Bringner in Italy
Trio lead by two after the first round of the Ladies Italian Open
Photography: Tristan Jones/LET
Morgane Metraux, who is two years younger than Kim, closed with four birdies in a row to set the early target at Golf Club Margara in Fubine Monferrato, before she was tied by her sister two groups later.
Bringner joined them late in the afternoon after a career-low round on the LET, which included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole, which she played as her 14th.
The 24-year-old from Gothenburg said: “I hit a good drive to the middle of the fairway and then a 6-iron to the green, three metres from the pin and made the putt. It’s my first Italian Open so I’m enjoying it.”
Bringner won the Swedish Matchplay Championship on the LET Access Series last July and finished fifth on the Order of Merit to earn her LET card for 2022. She added: “It was a very solid round. I have been waiting for some good scores for a long time now so it feels good to have made some putts and hit some good shots. It’s a very nice golf course with good views, so I’m enjoying being here.”
All three players are looking for their first win on the LET this week. The Metraux sisters’ goal is to get into a play-off together.
“We’ve played together in the same group three times as amateurs, but not as professionals, because they never pair us together,” said Morgane, who graduated from the Epson Tour to become a rookie on the LPGA Tour this season.
“In college and in amateur tournaments, we always played together. Since graduating and turning pro, we haven’t played on the same tour, so it’s fun to have a few times where you can be together and share dinners and so on.
“We push each other to do better and at the same time we don’t want to be beaten by the other. It’s good, healthy competition.
“I always love coming to Italy. My mum’s Italian so we always used to come here every year. I love the food and its good vibes for the week.”
On their friendly rivalry, Kim added: “It’s fun. We always have that kind of inside competition. When I saw that she was one shot ahead on the last, I thought, I’ve got to tie it, so it was a bit of extra motivation to make that on the last.”
The sisters started playing golf together, went to the same US College and turned professional at the same time. Although they are carving their own paths, their careers are inextricably linked.
When Morgane chose to forego last year’s Olympic Games in order to earn her LPGA card via the Epson Tour, Kim went to represent Switzerland in Tokyo.
“I was playing in America on the Epson Tour and I won the qualifying event for Evian (the 2021 Island Resort Championship),” Morgane explained. “Evian and the Olympics were back-to-back and if I had played in both I would have missed four tournaments in a row in America and I may not have finished in the top 10 and lost the opportunity to get my LPGA card. Evian was my dream growing up, but it was a hard decision. I definitely do not want to miss the next Olympic Games in 2024.”
The sisters are in a rich vein of form. Morgane tied for third place in the Mithra Belgian Ladies Open on Sunday, while Kim finished second in the recent Joburg Ladies Open and feels that her game is trending in the right direction, so there is a real possibility of them featuring in a play-off together in the final round on Saturday.
However, there are three multiple LET champions lurking just two strokes behind with two rounds to play: this year’s Investec SA Women’s Open champion Lee-Anne Pace from South Africa, the recent Australian Women’s Classic – Bonville winner Meghan MacLaren from England and Nuria Iturrioz of Spain. Alongside them are Italian amateur Carolina Melgrati, 19, from Monza, Lombardia and Tereza Melecka from the Czech Republic.
A group of nine further players, including Italians Virginia Elena Carta, Roberta Liti and 2017 PING Junior Solheim Cup player Alessandra