Tough conditions throughout the day took a toll as the Indian duo of Tvesa Mailk and Diksha Dagar shot 7-over 79 and 9-over 81 respectively in the opening round of the Ladies European Tour's Aramco Saudi Ladies International here on Friday.
Strong winds from the Red Sea adjoining the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club proved to be problematic, as neither Tvesa nor Diksha had the best of starts.
Tvesa, who had a great 2021, had a rough back nine of 7-over 36 following an even par front nine, while Diksha had 38-43 in the two nines.
Both will need strong second rounds to make the cut.
England's Georgia Hall and Germany's Sophie Witt fired rounds of 69 (-3) to be tied at the top of the leaderboard.
The wind was a big factor on day one but the morning starters had the better of the conditions with stronger gusts of up to 60 km/h in the afternoon.
One golfer who made light of the conditions later in the day was Major winner Hall, remaining the only player who was able to maintain her challenge at the summit when the wind picked up. Three consecutive birdies on holes two through four and another on the ninth saw the Englishwoman make the turn in 32 (-4).
In her next eight holes, Hall rolled in three pars, three birdies and two bogeys before finding the water on 18, but a double bogey on the last ensured the two-time Solheim Cup winner was still tied at the top alongside Witt.
Three players are in a share of third place on two-under-par with American duo Angel Yin and Lindsey Weaver-Wright alongside Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist.
Five players sit in a tie for sixth place on one-under-par including French rookie Charlotte Liautier, who made a hole-in-one on the par-three eighth.
The Frenchwoman rounds out the top ten alongside Sweden’s Johanna Gustavsson, Dutch star Anne Van Dam, Germany’s Chiara Noja and Wales’ Chloe Williams.