10 Aug 2022 | Amateur golf |
Bennett, Hinson-Tolchard power into US Women's Amateur match play rounds
by Dane Heverin
Kelsey Bennett and Maddison Hinson-Tolchard are into the Round of 64 at the US Women's Amateur at Chambers Bay in Washington after finishing the stroke play rounds tied fourth and tied seventh respectively.
The Australian team members for the World Amateur Teams Championships in Paris later this month - where Karrie Webb is team captain - began the second stroke play round on Tuesday at four-under par and pushed themselves further up the leaderboard with Hinson-Tolchard sharing the lead at one stage, but it was Bennett who got closest to taking medal honours with a three-under round of 70.
The Sydneysider began her day from the tenth tee and found the going tough early with a two-over back nine.
After the turn Bennett found another gear however, as she went on an incredible run of five straight birdies from the first to the fifth, before adding another at the seventh.
A bogey at the ninth was an unfortunate way to end her day but the task of securing a good seeding for the match play rounds was complete despite finishing three shots back from medallists 13-year-old Alice Ziyi Zhao of China and Americans Laney Frye and Latanna Stone - who carded the best stroke play round in US Women's Amateur history with an eight-under 65.
Hinson-Tolchard ended a shot behind her compatriot after she stormed home on the back nine to card a two-under round of 71.
The West Australian, who currently play collegiate golf at Oklahoma State University, was one-over for the day after 11 holes but she rallied with birdies at the 12th, 16th and 18th to enter the next phase of the tournament full of belief in her title credentials.
"Last year I came up against a fellow Aussie in Emily Mahar, so that was a tough match having to go up against her, and we went down 18 holes last year in 64," she said.
"I mean, we'll see what happens and who I get paired against, but definitely a lot of confidence in my game, so I think I'm going to go pretty good.
"My ball-striking, even yesterday, was really, really good, so I've got a lot of trust and confidence in that. I sank a couple of good putts coming in and put some shots really close, like I nearly had a hole-in-one again on 9. I put it to like a half a foot, so that definitely helps the last two days. But just steady. Nothing crazy. Just putting it in the right part of the green and really thinking it through with dad, so it's been working really well."
It was a difficult day for fellow Australian Justice Bosio as she shot a four-over par round of 77 to finish seven-over for the tournament and three shots below the cut line.
The two Australians to progress will now face a pair of Chinese golfers on Wednesday (US time) with Hinson-Tolchard taking on Yixian Gao (T53) and Bennett up against Jieni Li (T61).
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