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Isi Gabsa shoots 5-under to move into Symetra Classic lead

Veronica Felibert hits from the sand onto the 9th green during Friday’s first round of the Symetra Classic women's golf tournament at Raintree Country Club.
Veronica Felibert hits from the sand onto the 9th green during Friday’s first round of the Symetra Classic women's golf tournament at Raintree Country Club. dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

Isi Gabsa posted a 5-under 67 Friday to grab the first-round lead at the Symetra Classic at Raintree Country Club.

Gabsa, a 20-year-old from Tuebingen, Germany, birdied five of her final 11 holes to head into the weekend in front by one shot.

“I was hitting my irons well and I generally putt well,” said Gabsa, who is in her first year on the Symetra Tour. “The greens are pretty similar to last week so it was easy for me to adapt so it was a pretty good day.”

Gabsi, playing in just her fourth tour event, led the Ladies European Tour Access Series in 2015. She also plays on the Ladies European Tour.

A familiar name is near the top of the leader board again. Former N.C. State star Augusta James, who fell just short of winning the Symetra Classic in a playoff last year, carded a 4-under 68.

“I was happy with my round, but thought I left a few good opportunities out there, so I’ll work on that” Saturday, James said. “I like this course. It really fits my eye well and I have good memories out here.”

Raintree Country Club member Sara-Maude Juneau posted a 3-under 69 and is tied for seventh.

“I’m very happy with my round,” she said. “It is a good start."

Grace Academy rising senior Madison Moosa carded a 4-over 76. Local professionals Laura Wearn (Charlotte Country Day) and Allison Emrey (Ardrey Kell) carded even-par 72s.

The second round is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10 and can be pursed at Raintree Country Club.

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