With few players making a move in the afternoon wave American pre-qualifier Rachel Jones put her name firmly in the frame with a fifth birdie of the day at Bonville’s par-3 eighth to get to 4-under and joint second place at the Pacific Bay Resort Australian Ladies Classic.
After intermittent morning rains, the clouds cleared in time for the afternoon field and Jones was making the most of it.
She recovered from an bogey at the opening hole to race to 4-under at the turn with birdies at the second, fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth.
But the charge was abruptly stopped at the par-5 10th when a 3-putt from just off the back of the green led to a second bogey of the day to drop her back to 3-under and a share of third place with eight holes to play.
Jones is tied with playing partner Sock Hwee Koh and Spain’s Nuria Itturios who has six holes of her first round remaining.
1.30pm:Late rally saves Kemp
Day one of the Pacific Bay Resort Australian Ladies Classic – Bonville didn’t start very well for local favourite Sarah Kemp but it finished in style with a final hole birdie to close out a 1-under round of 71.
Kemp, the feel good story of the summer in Australian women’s golf after a career changing fortnight, was out early in conditions that were far from ideal for golf.
Having secured her 2018 and 2019 playing rights on the LPGA Tour with back to back high finishes at the co-sanctioned Vic Open and Australian Women’s Open, Kemp was unsure what to expect from herself this week at Bonville.
Despite a birdie at her first hole of the day Kemp quickly lost ground with a double bogey at her fifth, one of three blemishes in her round.
But a birdie at the last saw her finish in red figures, an outcome she later revealed was her goal at the start of the day.
“I didn’t do a proper warm-up because it (the rain) was coming down pretty good,” she said of the awkward weather which persisted for most of the day.
“It was kind of that annoying rain where you have to put your jacket on then take your jacket off then put it on again.
“But my goal was to finish under par for the day. Considering the conditions, I thought if I shoot under par I’m not going to be too far away.”
11.45am: Choi leads the way
Rising NSW Amateur star Doey Choi is the leader mid way through the morning round on the opening day of the Pacific Bay Resort Australian Ladies Classic.
Choi, the reigning Queensland and South Australian Women’s Amateur Champion, reed off an impressive six birdies against a lone bogey in her first 11 holes at the Bonville Golf Resort.
The only blemish on the card of NSW State team member came on the difficult par three 17th where she failed to get up and down for over the green.
She bounced back immediately with back-to-back birdie at the 18th and the st to be five under with seven to play.
Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom is outright second at three under, with Western Australia’s Hannah Green one of five players a stroke back sharing third.
8.45am: Green off to a flying start
Hannah Green is off to a flyer. The Western Australian is two under after three holes on a wet Thursday here at Bonville. Sarah Kemp made a birdie on her first hole for the day, the ninth, and has remained solid with a break of pars over her opening holes.
Gun amateur Stephanie Kyriacou playing alongside Swedish Star Madelene Sagstrom and Rebecca Artis, has made a bright start, one under through three holes.
Dame Laura Davies is over through four holes, Anne Van Dam, playing with Hannah Green, is one over after three, and Irish superstar Leona Maguire birdied her first hole to be one of eight players in red figures
7.00AM:Wet start in store at Bonville
Light rain has greeted the players for the opening round of the Pacific Bay Resort Australian Ladies Classic at Bonville Golf resort south of Coffs Harbour.
Thunderstorms hit the area overnight, and persistent overnight rain meant a busy morning for greenkeeping staff ensuring the course was ready for play as the first groups hit off at 6.50am.
With drizzle continuing to fall, Sweden’s Lina Boqvist got the field away with a perfect tee shot at the first hole.
The forecast is for rain all week, and while that might be uncomfortable for the players, it will be a source of pleasure for locals after a lengthy dry spell.
The clouds opened up overnight but play has begun on time at Bonville