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Friday, May 7, 2021

Mehaffey & McCarthy with work to do at Augusta Women’s Amateur

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Olivia Mehaffey carded a three-over 75 while Julie McCarthy was five-over par with three holes to play when the first round of the second annual Augusta National Women’s Amateur was suspended for the day on Wednesday due to inclement weather with 29 players remaining to finish their rounds at Champions Retreat Golf Club.

Play is scheduled to resume on Thursday at 12:45pm Irish time where Forrest Little star McCarthy will hope to claw a couple of shots back after a tough opening day in Georgia. Making her first competitive appearance of the year after a rough run with Auburn University, the 22-year old opened her day with a double-bogey and dropped three more shots to be sitting in a tie for 56th after a tricky first outing.

Arizona State star Mehaffey reached the clubhouse in three over with one birdie and four bogeys on her card. That leaves the world amateur number 18 in a tie for 32nd with the top-30 and ties progressing to the final round at Augusta National on Saturday after the second round is complete. All participants, regardless of making the cut or not, will play a practice round at Augusta National, the home of the Masters Tournament, on Friday.

Katherine Smith, the leader at four-under par, has completed only 11 holes. She holds a three-stroke lead over Ana Peláez Triviño, Rose Zhang, Karen Fredgaard, Kiira Riihijarvi and Linn Grant. Peláez Triviño and Zhang, the No. 1 ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), both shot one-under 71 and have finished their rounds. Fredgaard, Riihijarvi and Grant will complete their rounds Thursday morning.

“It was a fun round, and I’m excited to finish it,” said Smith, a 21-year-old senior and graphic design major at the University of Nebraska. She won her first college event just two weeks ago and entered this week with a newfound confidence and her older brother Karter as her caddie.

On a day when low scores were not in abundance, Smith collected three birdies over her first nine holes and added one more at No. 10. She completed her last hole with her seventh par of the day on No. 11 before play was suspended.

“As long as you were hitting greens, there’s opportunities to make birdies,” said Smith, ranked No. 134 in the WAGR. “I was hitting the ball well, hitting my long irons well with a lot of chances for birdies.”

When Smith resumes her first round on Thursday, she’ll face a seven-foot par putt on the 12th hole. “It’s uphill though,” she said. “I think it’ll be pretty straight.”

Coverage will be aired on SkySports for the final round on Saturday at 5pm

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