Dame Laura Davies made history at the Shipco Masters promoted by Simon’s Golf Club when she became the first female professional to compete on the Staysure Tour.
England’s greatest female golfer was part of the inaugural tournament in Kvistgård and teed off alongside fellow World Golf Hall of Fame members José María Olazábal, Colin Montgomerie and Ian Woosnam as she carded rounds of 78-71-75 to finish a commendable tied 44th on eight over par.
Ryder Cup legend Montgomerie came from four shots behind to win the first Staysure Tour event on European soil this year, while Davies was pleased to have been given the chance to play alongside some of the very best on the over-50s circuit.
“It was fun. Everyone was good to me. I was nervous early on and played rubbish on the first day but after that I settled down and it was pretty enjoyable,” she said. “The galleries were decent and there were always quite a few people out on the course. There were quite a few people with groups but there was also lots of people around the greens. I think the good weather helped, as it was unbelievable warm during the whole time we were there.
“When I accepted the invite, it seemed like a good idea and a bit of fun, and that was the main thing. I wasn’t trying to prove anything. I thought it would be great to play an event alongside those guys.
“It was something to try. I didn’t do particularly well – I was tied 44th in the end and it would’ve been nice to be a bit higher. Like I said, Friday did all the damage.”
Davies, who admitted feeling nervous before her first round, opened with an eight over par round of 78, however, she produced her best golf over the weekend.
“When you’re stood on the first tee and you’re nervous before you get going it’s never a good thing. I’m always a little bit nervous but it was beyond that, so it was like being a fish out of water,” she said. “I was out there playing on a course at an event which is a little bit different and let the nerves get to me a little too much.”
Those nerves were soon gone as the record seven-time winner of the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit carded a round of 71 to move up the leaderboard.
A birdie on the par five 17th hole saw Davies move into the red, and the four-time Major champion believes there could have been more red figures on her card.
“It was a shame because I should’ve scored far better than that. I played really well so one under was probably the worst I could’ve shot,” she said. “I played well on Sunday but I didn’t quite hole as many as putts as I did on Saturday. Saturday was the day where I played like I can play, and certainly forget about Friday as that one hopeless.”
Sunday saw the four-time Solheim Cup winner play with two-time Masters Champion Olazábal. While the Spaniard may not have shown his Major winning form, it was a chance for Davies to cap off her first venture on the Staysure Tour alongside one of the most recognisable names on the over-50s circuit.
“It was great to play with him. He didn’t play very well like he said himself and he’s disappointed with his game at the moment,” she said. “But to be out there playing a tournament round of golf with a Masters Champion was obviously great fun. He was really nice as well, so it was a good day on the course.”