NSW Golf

WOMEN'S WRAP: Choi flies flag at #AusAm

LIVE SCORES:    Men   Women

It’s three years since home hands have hoisted the Women’s Australian Amateur Championship trophy – a fact of which Doey Choi is ruefully aware.

And after day one of the 2018 edition, presented by Swinging Skirts, the young Sydneysider shapes as being among the few and chief defenders of national pride in Perth this week.

Choi, 17, a key member of the history-making New South Wales junior and senior state teams last year, fired an impressive two-under-par 71 at the picturesque Wanneroo Golf Club this morning that left her one of just two Aussies in red figures.

And alongside the Gold Coast’s Becky Kay (72), they’re already fighting a horde of impressive international aspirants to the year’s first big global amateur title.

Japan is chief among them, with Yuna Nishimura leading the way with a classy 67 at Lake Karrinyup to lead the way from compatriots Suzuka Namaguchi and Sae Ogura who share second at 69.

Yamaguchi, on her second visit to Australia, had three bogeys in her first six holes, but then poured in six birdies in her closing 11 holes to shoot clear.

“I couldn’t do anything with the putter early … but then it started going,” Yamaguchi said through an interpreter after her round at Wanneroo.

Choi, though, is happy to fly the Aussie flag as the week-long battle unfolds.

“It makes me really proud and honoured, a lot of good players from overseas come and play this tournament, so being near the top of the leaderboard, I’m really happy about it,” she said.

“I played quite good out there and holed a few good putts, so I’m feeling confident.”

Kay mixed a swag of birdies among three bogeys and a double – a kick-in for a short birdie at the par-three 11th arguably her best shot to leave her in contention.

Fellow Queenslander Grace Kwack fired an opening 73 to sit alongside New South Wales pair Steph Kyriacou and Amy Chu in a share of 11th. 

The top 32 women after tomorrow’s second round of stroke play will advance to the knockout match play phase beginning on Thursday morning.

LIVE SCORES:    Men   Women

19 January 2019
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