09 Aug 2022 | Amateur golf |
Bennett, Hinson-Tolchard start strong at US Women's Amateur
by Dane Heverin
Australians Kelsey Bennett and Maddison Hinson-Tolchard are tied fifth after the first round of the US Women's Amateur at Chambers Bay in Washington.
The pair, who will represent Australia, and be captained by Karrie Webb, at the World Amateur Teams Championship in Paris later this month, shot four-under par rounds of 69 to sit two shots back from 13-year-old leader Alice Ziyi Zhao of China.
No one made more birdies than Hinson-Tolchard on Monday as the West Australian carded eight birdies, while Bennett made six of her own.
Hinson-Tolchard, who won the Australian Girls' Amateur in 2018 and now plays collegiate golf at Oklahoma State University, lit up the front nine with four birdies - at the first, fourth, seventh and ninth - and a bogey to reach the turn in 34 strokes.
Her back nine was more of a rollercoaster ride with four birdies and three bogeys shuffling her up-and-down the leaderboard.
Bennett, who made the quarter-finals of the R&A's Women's Amateur Championship in June, was more steady with her only blemish coming in the form of a double bogey at the 504-yard par-5 eighth.
That setback arrived after a promising start with three birdies in her opening seven holes, but the Sydneysider worked her way back into the mix with a hat-trick of birdies at the 13th, 14th and 15th.
“Even through the practice rounds I just really enjoyed the course and felt like it set up well for my game. I hit it well off the tee, which I think is key around here. I did slip up and make a double on #8 but I managed to get [the strokes] back,” Bennett said.
Australian Women's Amateur runner-up Justice Bosio is the only other Australian in the field and she shot a three-over round of 76 to be tied for 78th.
The top 64 after Tuesday's (US time) second and final stroke play round will advance to the match play component of the tournament.
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