24 Mar 2023 | Professional golf |

Song on top at Women's NSW Open

by Australian Golf Media

June Song NSW Open image
June Song on her way to a 5-under opening round today. Photo: Golf NSW

By Tony Webeck

Avondale amateur June Song has edged one stroke clear of a congested leaderboard on day one of the Women’s NSW Open presented by Worrells at Forster-Tuncurry Golf Club’s Tuncurry Course on Friday. The rumpled coastal layout copped 41mm of rain in the space of an hour on the eve of the tournament, greens staff working through the night to have the course prepared for the first tee times at 8am. Birdies were hard to come by early before the group of Song, Kathryn Norris and Katelyn Must came home in a collective nine-under par. Song’s five-under 68 was the low round by day’s end, Norris just one stroke further back in a tie for second on 69 along with 14-year-old Queensland amateur Godiva Kim, Kiwi friends Momoka Kobori and Hanee Song in a share of fourth at three-under 70. A semi-finalist at the NSW Amateur in January, Song was even par through eight holes before storming home with five birdies in her final 10 holes to assume the clubhouse lead. Starting with a birdie at the par-3 ninth, Song picked up shots at 10 and 12 and then made back-to-back birdies on 15 and 16 to reach five-under. She got up-and-down from the right of the green at the par-5 15th and then holed a 20-footer from the back of the 16th green to edge one clear, the flagstick providing a valuable assist. “I hit a little 6-iron into 16 but I holed a big putt, which I wasn’t really expecting. If it missed the hole it would have gone off the green,” Song admitted. “I just hit it a bit too hard. It was lucky.” Coached by Mark and Ben Paterson at Avondale – the father-son duo who have guided Harrison Endycott to the heights of the PGA TOUR – Song has seen first-hand the pathway to the top of professional golf. Although she is yet unsure whether it is the path she wants to take – sports journalism is another area of interest – she knows a win this week could be life-changing. “It’s just really good to see how a PGA TOUR player operates and how professional it all is,” said Song, who spent time with Endycott at the Australian Open in December. “It’s been a big inspiration to see how well Harro’s going. Hopefully I can feed off that. “I’m honestly not sure what I’m going to do next. “You never know, a tournament might change the whole thing around.”

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