23 Jun 2022 | Amateur golf |

Bennett into final 32 at British Am

by Dane Heverin

Kelsey Bennett is the last Australian standing at the R&A's Women's Amateur Championship in England.
Kelsey Bennett is the last Australian standing at the R&A's Women's Amateur Championship in England.

An incredible near-albatross has propelled Sydney's Kelsey Bennett into the last 32 of the R&A's Women's Amateur Championship at Hunstanton Golf Club in England.

Bennett, 22, defeated Canadian Savannah Grewal 2&1 in the first round of the matchplay section of the tournament after she gained crucial momentum from almost holing out for a two on the par-5 ninth.

"After the first eight holes I was three-over and I managed to make an eagle, nearly an albatross, a couple of inches. Nice to have some birdies and an eagle and managed to get myself back on track and get the win," Bennett said.

"I hit a good drive down the left and had 185 metres, so I hit 6-iron and it bounced up. Had a good kick and rolled all the way up, sat just behind the cup a couple inches."

The St. Michael's member is in the United Kingdom for the first time and she is "very grateful" to be competing internationally again.

Prior to heading to Singapore for the Queen Sirikit Cup last month, Bennett admitted that these global opportunities have encouraged her to remain an amateur and resist the lure of professional golf despite performing strongly across the WPGA Tour of Australasia last summer.

"It's great to see the European side of things because I haven't had a chance to meet these sort of girls. It's a privilege to be able to play alongside them," she said.

As for the possibility of hoisting the trophy later this week, Bennett is being spurred on by the presence of a loved one.

"It would be unbelievable. I have my nan, Betsy, here with me and it would be very special, here from Australia this week," she said.

The number 75 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings will take on 2020 runner-up Annabell Fuller of England in her round of 32 match on Thursday evening Australian time and the round of 16 matches will be played later on the same day.

Meanwhile, West Australian Abbie Teasdale lost to Welsh golfer Ffion Tynan 4&2, but the contest was tighter than the scoreline suggests with Tynan describing the match as a "great standard of golf to be playing in such a big event".

Follow the scores here.

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