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Darling Takes First-Round Lead at Augusta National Women’s Amateur – News – Irish Golf Desk

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Scotland’s Hannah Darling, after a six-under 66, took a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur on Wednesday.

She set a new Championship record for most birdies in a round with eight, including six birdies on her opening nine holes.  She also tied the record for the low first-round score, equaling Rose Zhang’s opening 66 in 2023. 

Scores

The University of South Carolina junior started her round with three consecutive birdies before dropping two shots over her next two holes. The 20-year-old, making her third appearance at the Championship, tallied three more birdies for a four-under 32 on her first nine before adding two additional birdies in a bogey-free second nine. Darling leads three players by one stroke entering the second round of the 54-hole Championship.

“The way I thought my way around the golf course was great today,” Darling said. “I was really disciplined. Me and my caddie, we made some really smart targets, and we were just hitting committed shots to those targets. I hit pretty much every shot today great, and I didn’t hit every great golf shot, but we hit great shots to our intention and to our targets.” 

“I would say that there’s areas on the golf course down by [Nos.] 13, 14 and then kind of on the front nine you’re going in different directions and there’s some chutes with the wind, at that point it’s swirling a little bit, and it’s kind of just trying to make a great decision on where the wind actually is.

“But the last three holes we knew exactly where the wind was, so you’ve just got to play with that. I’ve said this a lot of times, but I’m from Scotland, so I kind of know how to handle the wind a little bit.”

“To be honest, I remember hearing an Annika quote when she shot 59. She had made quite a few birdies in a row, and she was like, ‘I just need to make a par.’ I said to my caddie, ‘I just want to make a par,’ and I made a bogey. I was settled down. I was fine. But yeah, I just made some great putts that normally wouldn’t drop, but they did today, and yeah, it was a great day.”

Miscellaneous

  • Thailand’s Eila Galitsky finished birdie-eagle to move into the three-way tie for second place with Italy’s Francesca Fiorellini and world No. 1 Ingrid Lindblad of Sweden at five-under 67. Lindblad is looking to become the third player who entered the Championship as the No. 1 player in the world and went on to win (2019/Jennifer Kupcho; 2023/Rose Zhang).

  • Hannah Darling has two previous appearances in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur (2022/T-27; 2023/MC).

  • A total of 28 players carded subpar rounds, a new Championship record (previous: 27/2023 second round).

  • University of Florida senior Maisie Filler made an eagle on the par-4 first hole today (her 10th hole of the day). It is the 10th eagle on a par-4 in Augusta National Women’s Amateur history.  

  • The second round will continue Thursday at Champions Retreat with live coverage on Golf Channel from 1:30-3:30 p.m. ET. Following completion of the second round, a cut will be made with the top 30 players and ties advancing to Saturday’s final round at Augusta National.

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