Boutier, Molinaro break par to lead Ladies British

Giulia Molinaro of Arizona State on Thursday at the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championships at Vanderbilt Legends Club North Course in Franklin, Tenn.

Here’s a number that shouldn’t come as a surprise: Only two players broke par Tuesday during the first round of stroke-play qualifying at the Ladies British Amateur. That’s likely because the tournament is being hosted at Carnoustie, site of last year’s Ricoh Women’s British and seven Open Championships.

Carnoustie, in Angus, Scotland, has developed a reputation as a beast of a course. The famous links are set up at 6,563 yards this week for a field of 144 top female amateurs. That produced a first-round scoring average of 80.19.

Celine Boutier of France and Giulia Molinaro of Italy co-lead after Round 1 with scores of 2-under 70. Boutier, who has committed to Duke for the fall, limped home with bogeys at Nos. 17 and 18 after making four birdies in a six-hole stretch starting at No. 10. Molinaro, who just completed her senior year at Arizona State, bogeyed two of her three opening holes but caught fire on the back nine and closed with a bogey-free 4-under 32.

Four players are tied for third at even-par 70, including Cal’s Daniela Holmqvist, Stanford’s Sally Watson, Alexandra Peters and Perrine Delacour.

A trio of GB&I Curtis Cup players make up the next foursome at 1-over 73: Leona Maguire, Amy Boulden and Bronte Law. Patricia Sanz Barrios also is in that group. The highest American on the leaderboard is Meghan Stasi, a mid-amateur from Florida.

Defending champion Lauren Taylor shot 9-over 81 and is joint 79th.

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