Olivia Mehaffey posted a tournament low three-under par round of 69 to move into a tie for third at even par, just one shot back of the leaders after day two of the second annual Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
Returning for the second round at Champions Retreat Golf Club, Mehaffey didn’t record her first par on the card until the ninth hole after trading five birdies with three bogeys over a rollercoaster front nine. On the back nine, the Arizona State star was the model of consistency, posting one birdie and all the rest pars to move right into the mix ahead of Saturday’s decider at Augusta National.
“Recently I’ve been trying to be better about not reacting to bad shots and getting on with it a bit,” Mehaffey said of the up-and-down nature of her front nine. “It’s something I talked to my coach about, and everyone is going to hit bad shots.
“I think I hit really great shots, and then I hit some bad ones. On the really great shots, it was pretty easy birdies. I wasn’t too far away from the hole. Then a couple of bad ones, where I missed the greens. But I struggled a little bit with the chips. It was quite wet around the green as well so it’s definitely something I want to work a little bit on.”
No stranger to Augusta National, Mehaffey enjoyed a top-25 finish at the inaugural event two years ago but now just one stroke off the lead, and with television coverage broadcasting the event around the world on Saturday, this will be a different type of pressure for Mehaffey despite her wealth of experience across the amateur game.
“I mean, it’s Augusta National,” said Mehaffey. “We’re on this stage right now that the whole world’s watching, and there’s going to be more pressure than I’m sure anybody’s ever felt. I think it’s obviously going to be difficult. You have to kind of go in prepared for that. You don’t really know what’s going to happen. It’s definitely nice to be in contention. Any time you’re in contention, it means you’re playing great.
“That’s why we’re all here. We want to compete. We want to win. We want to show the world what women golfers are capable of, and I think that’s the exciting thing.”
The top-30 and ties progressed to the final round after 36-holes but sadly Forrest Little’s Julie McCarthy won’t be amongst them after missing out with rounds of 78 and 77. There is consolation to be found, however, with all players getting to play a practice round at Augusta today [Friday], playing the Cathedral in the Pines the week before the Masters. Mehaffey won’t be thinking about that, however. The fifth year ASU star has a tournament to win.
“It would be incredible, of course,” she said. “There’s a lot of golf to be played before then, and obviously anything can happen out there. You see what Maria and Jennifer did two years ago. It was incredible, and it really shook the golf world. I think that’s something that we have the ability to do this week again, and that would be very special to do.”
Coverage will be aired on SkySports for the final round on Saturday at 5pm
- Full scoring HERE