Jordanstown’s Stephanie Meadow leads the Irish challenge after day one at the AIG Women’s Open at Royal Troon following a four-over par opening round in wild and windy conditions.
Meadow, who recently signed as Touring Professional at Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort, host venue to the upcoming DDF Irish Open, uncomfortably found herself three-over through four holes but she steadied the ship with a string of pars before unfortunately dropping two more shots on 12 and 15. Consecutive birdies on 16 and 17 put a gloss on things before another bogey came on the closing hole to see her sign for an opening 75.
With weather playing a major role there are only four players under par after day one with Meadow finding herself in T53 place at the end of play, two shots ahead of Cavan’s Leona Maguire who carded an opening six-over par.
Maguire’s round included three bogeys and one birdie but two double bogeys on 8 and 18 dented her hopes. That said, with so many players over par she is not out of it just yet and is sitting in T89 place after round one alongside Northern Irish amateur Olivia Mehaffey who teed off in esteemed company today, out in the first group with Dame Laura Davies.
Mehaffey, playing in her fourth Major Championship gave a good account of herself and while she may be slightly disappointed to return five bogeys, a double bogey and just the one birdie, she reached the turn in one-over par and it’s still all to play for tomorrow.
It looked for most of the day that level par would be a the leading score but with the afternoon players getting a little bit of respite from the windy conditions American Amy Olson leads the way on four-under par, three shots ahead of a three-way tie for second place between Lee-Ann Pace, Marina Alex and Sophia Popov.
“I mean, the conditions out there honestly were so tough. I’ve said that was the best ball-striking day of my life. I kept the trajectory on every shot what I wanted,” said Olson.
“My start lines were really good, which was especially important those first nine holes going out into the wind, and my distance control was really good. Where I grew up in North Dakota it gets extremely windy, and so I grew up playing the ball very low. I think that served me very well over here.”