The full reach of Stephanie Meadow’s mettle was on display as she bounced back from two early bogeys to birdie the last and move up the leaderboard at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup in Arizona.
After a less than ideal season opening venture to Australia last month, where a slip down the stairs saw Meadow injure her ankle prior to finishing in 68th spot at the ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open, the Jordanstown professional returned to action this week as the LPGA Tour stops off less than an hour from her home in Phoenix.
Wildfire Country Club is a course she knows well as a result and although Meadow came out understandably rusty after a longer than ideal competitive absence, birdies at 9 and 10 steadied an uneasy ship as she got her back nine into full swing.
However, momentum was soon stifled by a string of six pars before a bogey at her penultimate home threatened to take the gloss off her efforts. But there was still one further act of defiance to come at 18, where Meadow bravely birdied the final hole to move into the top half of the leaderboard in Arizona after returning a hard-fought even par 72.
With Celine Boutier out in front at eight-under par, Meadow has work to do today to get back amongst the business end of the tournament, but few would be surprised if she managed to given that time and time again, she has proved herself up for the fight.
Meadow’s round one statistics:
Fairways hit – 13/14
Driving Distance – 258 yards
Putts per round – 31
Greens in reg – 13/18
Sand saves – 0/0