Smith Leads ANWA after 11 Holes in Rain-Delayed 1st Round
March 31, 2021
EVANS, Ga. -- She still has some work to do in the first round of the Augusta National Women's Amateur, but Kate Smith was leading the tournament on Wednesday when play was halted because of inclement weather
The 21-year-old Nebraska senior made four birdies in her first 10 holes at Champions Retreat, and she was bogey free through 11. Her partial score of 4 under put her three shots in front of a fivesome that was tied for second at minus 1. There were another eight players at even par.
Among those tied for second were two players who finished their rounds. One of them was Rose Zhang, who although she is only 17 years old, is the reigning U.S. Women's Amateur champion and No. 1 in the Women's World Amateur Golf Rankings. She got off to a quick start, making birdies at the 390-yard, par-4 second hole and the 165-yard, par-3 third. But she bogeyed the fourth (410 yards, par 4). Zhang followed that with 11 consecutive pars before she bogeyed the par-4 16th (390 yards). A birdie at the 175-yard, par-3 17th got her back into red numbers, and she parred the 18th hole for a 1-under 71.
Ana Pelaez Trivino, 23, a South Carolina senior from Spain, matched Zhang's 71, making two birdies and one bogey along the way.
Also at 1 under, but with holes still to play in Round 1 were University of Houston sopohomore Karen Fredgaard, who finished 15 holes, Tampa junior Kiira Riihijarvi, who was through 13, and the No. 2 player in the Women's Amateur Rankings, Arizona State sophomore Linn Grant, who completed 12 holes Wednesday at Champions Retreat.
Smith, a five-time Minnesota state high school champion from Detroit Lakes, birdied the second hole and the par-3 sixth (165 yards). After a pair of pars at the seventh and eighth, she rattled off consecutive birdies at the 525-yard, par-5 ninth and the 385-yard, par-4 10th. Last year's Minnesota Women's State Amateur champ and 2020 Women's Golf Coaches Association Scholastic All-American (Smith is a graphics design major at Nebraska) parred the 11th hole, and she hit her approach at the par-4 12th to within 25 feet of the pin. But she was just over the green, in the fringe. Her birdie putt, which she hit just before play was suspended, was a little bit strong and ended up 5 feet past the cup.
When the players were called off the course, the rain wasn't all that heavy. A little while later, however, it was pouring, and there were no more shots hit on Wednesday.
So Smith will have that 5-footer left for par when play resumes at 7:45 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday. She is scheduled to begin her second round at 12:50 EDT.
The first and second rounds of the ANWA are being played at Champions Retreat. After 36 holes, the field will be cut to 30 and ties, and the survivors will take on Augusta National in the final round on Saturday.
WOMEN'S AMATEUR GOLF
Augusta National Women's Amateur
At Champions Retreat
Par 72, 6,245 yards
First-round results (play was suspended with 29 players still on the course)
1. Kate Smith, USA, -1 11 holes
T2. Rose Zhang, USA 71
T2.Ana Pelaez Trivino, Spain 71
T2. Karen Fredgaard, Denmak -1 15 holes
T2. Kiira Riihijarvi, Finland -1 13 holes
T2. Linn Grant, Sweden -1 14 holes
ANWA leader board...