14 Jan 2020 | National Championships |
England's Toy seizes women's #AusAm lead
by Martin Blake
Reigning British amateur champion Emily Toy has stolen the march on her competitors in the first round of women’s strokeplay at the Australian Amateur Championship at Brisbane Golf Club.
Toy, 22, is one of the best amateurs in the world and she arrived in Queensland to show exactly why.
A six-under par 65 vaulted her to the top of the leaderboard with a three-shot buffer after the first round. A cluster of Australians are together in the chasing pack, including Grace Kim and Doey Choi of New South Wales, Ella Adams of South Autralia and Lion Higo of Queensland, all at three-under par.
Toy, who won the Amateur Championship at Royal County Down in Northern Ireland last July, a result which gave her starts in the Women’s British Open and the Evian Championship in Switzerland already, and still offers her a chance to tee it up in another major, this year’s Women’s US Open, in Houston this June.
She missed the cut at both the British and the Evian, but insists that the experience was worth it. “It may not have been the golf I wanted to play but Iearnt a lot, I take that forward in whatever tournaments I play,” she said after today’s round.
Toy’s round began with a bang – six birdies on the front nine before an even-par back nine that included a bogey at the 17th erased by a birdie at the 18th. “Six-under on the front nine was a great start,” she said. “(I) actually putted really solidly, was hitting it pretty close and making pretty much most of the putts. Then steady on the back nine, nothing spectacular. A blemish on 17 which was unfortunate, but I finished with a birdie on 18, which was nice.
“I was aware that I was bogey-free up until then (at the 17th). I put it in the fairway trap and kind of fatted it out which wasn’t ideal. Actually made quite a good two-putt ot save bogey. At the end of the day that’s only one shot gone. I hit a nice drive up 18 and nice approach to about six foot and made the putt which was a nice way to finish.”
Toy is set for a huge year of travel which includes the Women’s US Open and also the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in April. “They’re two massive opportunities I cannot wait for and to play Augusta is going to be incredible,’’ she said.
Youth Olympic gold medallist Kim was among the best of the others at 68, taking a shine to the golf course at her first visit to Brisbane GC. “I do like this golf course,’’ she said. “It’s tight off the tees so you have to be quite accurate off the tee boxes. Overall, I really liked the course. There’s a couple of easy par-fives where you can catch a couple of shots back, then there are really strong par-fours so you have to be focussed, I guess.’’
Kim is headed to the United States later this year for some amateur events before teeing it up in the LPGA Tour school in October. “The game’s there,’’ she said. “I have to back myself. I’m looking forward to it but it’s obviously a very scary move!’’
The women’s strokeplay moves to Royal Queensland on Wednesday, with the top 32 progressing to the matchplay phase starting on Thursday.
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