Stephanie Meadow recovered from a double-bogey at the sixth hole to return a smashing round of three-under par 69 on day one of the Portland Classic in Oregon.
In need of a fast finish to her season if she’s to retain her LPGA Tour playing rights for next year, the Jordanstown professional finds herself in a share of 34th after firing five first round birdies in a stellar opening display.
Finding 13 of 14 fairways on day one, there was plenty to like about Meadow’s performance as she takes aim at the top-80 on the money-list to secure her Tour card for next term.
Meadow finds herself five shots back of the leaders after an afternoon flurry of birdies from Mi Jung Hur and Hannah Green put the duo into a tie for the top following the first round of the Cambia Portland Classic. Playing in consecutive groups, both players birdied their closing three holes to finish at -8.
“I had a really good day with my tee shots and long game. The putting wasn’t that good, but I still love it,” said Hur, who carded nine birdies and a lone bogey. “I made a lot of birdies, but I had one bogey on 17, I missed one fairway. If you miss fairways on this course, you have to take a bogey because it’s so tough when you miss the fairway.”
“I knew putting was really key this week. I’d say it’s one of the shorter courses that we play, and it definitely looked more narrow,” said Green, who needed just 23 putts on Thursday. “I knew if I kept doing what I was doing and hitting good shots and just holing a couple putts here and there that you could post a really good score.”
Both players are enjoying breakthrough seasons on the LPGA Tour. Hur won the 2019 Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open for her first victory since the 2014 Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic, while Green became a Rolex First-Time Winner when she captured a major win at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
Meanwhile on the Symetra Tour, Leona Maguire has work to do if she’s to make the weekend cut at the Sioux Falls GreatLife Challenge after posting a four-over par round of 74 in South Dakota.
Maguire has been a consistent performer Stateside all season having picked up two wins and amassed $84,149 that leaves the Cavan professional in 4th spot on the Volvik Race for the Card standings. Roughly $25,000 clear of 10th place, and with the top-10 in the standings assured of LPGA Tour status for next season, Maguire will be keen to leave nothing to chance, starting this week at Willow Run Golf Club.
Birdies weren’t the issue on day one – Maguire found four of them – but with only 9 greens hit in regulation and 31 putts needed on the day, Leona currently finds herself 2 shots outside the projected cut mark heading into tonight’s second round.
LPGA Tour scoring HERE
Symetra Tour scoring HERE