Thursday, April 04, 2019

Shepherd, Boonchant shine on Day 1 of Augusta National Women's Amateur
April 3, 2019
EVANS, Georgia — Duke University incoming freshman Erica Shepherd and sophomore Jaravee Boonchant shined on day one of the historic Augusta National Women’s Amateur Wednesday held at 6,355-yard, par 72 Champions Retreat Golf Club in Evans, Ga. 
Shepherd birdied three out of her final four holes on her way to carding a one-under-par, 71, while Boonchant signed for an even-par, 72, in round one. 
A native of Greenwood, Ind., Shepherd opened her round on No. 10 and was three-over-par during her first five holes.  She stepped up on the green at No. 15 and sank a 30-foot putt for birdie to get her back to two-over-par.  After two pars on the 16th and 17th holes, Shepherd three-putted the 470-yard, par five 18th on her way to making the turn with a 39. 
She opened the back nine on No. 1 and rolled in a 36-foot putt for birdie to get back to two-over for the day.  Shepherd would go on to notch four pars in a row, including a nine-foot putt on No. 5, before catching fire.  She connected on a 20-foot birdie on No. 6, after hitting her eight iron from 155 yards on the green.  Shepherd two-putted for birdie on the par five seventh as she was left with a 12-footer for eagle on her approach.  She added her fifth birdie of the day on No. 8 as she hit her six-iron from 181 yards to four feet and rolled in the birdie. 
“It was good,'' commented Shepherd on Wednesday’s round.  “The front nine was super shaky. I was way more nervous than I was expecting to be. I don't think I've been that nervous since I played in the U.S. Open when I was 15, so I wasn't really expecting that, but as soon as I calmed down and got comfortable, made a lot of birdies and played a lot better.”
Shepherd is tied eighth overall, after hitting 14 greens, 13 fairways and rolling 32 putts.  She hit eight-of-nine greens over her final nine holes.
A product of Bangkok, Thailand, Boonchant opened her day on No. 1 and suffered a bogey, but came back with a par on No. 2 and then drained a six-footer for birdie on the par five third hole.  She registered pars on the next four holes, before hitting her hybrid from 170 yards to six feet and sank the birdie putt to get in the red. 
Boonchant would go on to birdie each of the next two holes as she rolled in a six-footer on No. 9 and sank a 33-footer on No. 10 to get to three-under-par.  After a par on the 11th, Boonchant holed out from the bunker with her 58-degree wedge from 20 feet.  Boonchant moved to four-under-par and a share of the individual lead. 
“I would say my game was pretty solid today,” said Boonchant.  “I made a lot of putts on the front nine and on the back nine.  I just had a really bad hole, which I would say was unlucky.  Overall, I really like how I played today.”
She suffered her second bogey of the day on No. 12 and then had a triple-bogey on No. 13 to drop back to even par, which is where she finished the day.  Boonchant is tied for 15th with a 72, while hitting 11 fairways, 10 greens and rolling 26 putts. 
Jennifer Kupcho and Zoe Campos hold the individual lead through 18 holes at four-under-par. 
Duke freshman Gina Kim turned in a five-over, 78, and is tied 47th, while senior Virginia Elena Carta posted a 79 and junior Ana Belac added an 80 in round one.  
Kim, who is from Chapel Hill, N.C., had a shaky start with a bogey and double-bogey on the first two holes, but settled down and rolled in birdies on No. 5 and No. 7 to get back to one-over-par.  She closed the day with four bogeys over her final 11 holes to finish with a 78.
After a solid start with seven pars, a birdie and a double-bogey over her first nine holes, Carta made the turn at one-over, 37.  Carta, who hails from Udine, Italy, struggled on the way in with a six-over-par final nine holes to card a 79. 
Belac, a product of Portoroz, Slovenia, was limited to one birdie on the par five ninth on her way to shooting an 80 in round one. 
The golfers will head to a second and final round at Champions Retreat Golf Club Thursday with the top 30 advancing to Saturday’s final round held at Augusta National Golf Club. 
Thursday’s second round tee times will feature Shepherd (9:12 a.m., off No. 10), Boonchant (9:36 a.m., off No. 1), Belac (9:48 a.m., off No. 10), Kim (10:24 a.m., off No. 1) and Carta (10:36 a.m., off No. 10).
Golf Channel will provide live coverage of Thursday’s second round during the day. 



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