EVANS, Ga. (WJBF) – The top-ranked amateur in women’s golf is also on top of the 2023 Augusta National Women’s Amateur leaderboard after the opening round at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Evans.
Rose Zhang, a sophomore at Stanford University, shot a bogey-free 66 on Wednesday. The score was the lowest round in the tournament’s four year history.
“I think that from the start of the round, I really just wanted to kind of make pars because at Champions Retreat, you never know what you’re going to get,” Zhang said. “With the ground being so soft and being muddy, I can’t really expect anything more out of my game today. Par-5 scoring is very important for a good round. For me to be able to do that and capitalize on every par-5, I think it shows my game’s in a pretty consistent, good direction. Hopefully I can continue like that the next couple days.”
Andrea Lignell of Sweden is one shot behind Zhang at -5. University of Georgia senior Jenny Bae is in solo third at -3.
Last year’s co-runner up Ingrid Lindblad, the world’s No. 2 ranked amateur and a senior at LSU from Sweden, shot 78.
Defending champion Anna Davis shot +4 after incurring two penalties on her first hole.
“During play of her first hole, Anna Davis lifted her ball and failed to replace it on its original spot on two separate occurrences,” read a statement by Competition Committees Chairman James B. Hyler, Jr. released by the Tournament. “Under Rule 9.4, Ms. Davis has been penalized two strokes for each occurrence of playing from a wrong place.”
The penalties increased her score on the hole from 5 to 9.
“So preferred lies were only in the fairway today, and I learned that after the 1st hole,” Davis said after her round. “On my first drive, I was in the rough, did my little thing. There’s mud on it. My second shot in the rough, same thing. So that was a four-shot penalty right there. Little rough start to the day, but that’s all right, it happens. It’s a learning experience.”
For the first time in Augusta National Women’s Amateur history, live television coverage of the first two rounds is being provided by Golf Channel from 1:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.