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An historic day on the European Tour ended with Christine Wolf tied for the lead. The inaugural Scandinavian Mixed Hosted by Henrik and Annika kicked off on Thursday at Vallda Golf and Country Clubwith 78 men and 78 women playing for one trophy and one prize fund of 1,000,000 euros.
Austria’s Christine Wolf became the first woman to lead a European Tour event when she carded a bogey-free 8-under 64 to pace the field with Englishman Sam Horsfield.
Hosts Annika Sorenstam and Henrik Stenson played together alongside Thomas Bjorn. Stenson shot 2 under while both Sorenstam and Bjorn posted 1 over.
Wolf, who has her mother, Andrea, on the bag this week, played her last four holes in 4 under.
“We love competing against the guys, we’ve had a few mixed events at home,” said Wolf, winner of 2019 Hero Women’s Indian Open.
“It’s just fun. At home there’s a lot of guys I play against, and I really like competing against them.”
Horsfield won twice in 2020 on the UK Swing and has a pair of top-5 finishes thus far in 2021. After not taking advantage of the par 5s so far this season, Horsfield zoned in and birdied all four.
“It was definitely different,” said Horsfield of the mixed format, “but I really enjoyed it. (Alice Hewson) was really good, I think she made four birdies in a row on the back nine. I didn’t really know what to expect, to be completely honest with you. But she played really well and I had a great time.”
Four players are tied at 7 under including England’s Steven Brown and Ashley Chesters, Finland’s Kalle Samooja and Spain’s Pep Angles.
England’s Felicity Johnson, a two-time winner on the LET, holds a share of seventh at 6 under. She played alongside Robert Rock and Justin Walters.
“I bogeyed the first,” said Johnson. “I actually hit a really good shot in, but I went over the back. If you bogey the first after you hit a good shot, you cannot really complain. It was easy golf out there. The par 5s I was able to reach. I made birdie and I made the most of those.”
This marked Sorenstam’s first time competing in Sweden in 13 years. Her 10-year-old son Will was the standard bearer for the group.
“Especially for the kids to come out here and watch me play,” Sorenstam told the European Tour. “They watch me on the range and the putting green, they know all the time I put in, so for them to come out here and watch is very special.”