Mollymook’s Kelsey Bennett has prevailed 2&1 in a tough battle against Canadian Savannah Grewal in the opening round of the Women’s Amateur at Hunstanton Golf Club in England overnight.
An incredible near-albatross on the par-5 ninth was the Catalyst for the 22 year old, who is playing in the revered championship for the first time.
“After the first eight holes I was three-over and I managed to make an eagle, nearly an albatross, a couple of inches. Nice to have some birdies and an eagle and managed to get myself back on track and get the win,” Bennett said.
“I hit a good drive down the left and had 185 metres, so I hit 6-iron and it bounced up. Had a good kick and rolled all the way up, sat just behind the cup a couple inches.”
The St. Michael’s member is in the United Kingdom for the first time and she is “very grateful” to be competing internationally again.
“It’s great to see the European side of things because I haven’t had a chance to meet these sort of girls,
Prior to heading to Singapore for the Queen Sirikit Cup last month, Bennett admitted that these global opportunities have encouraged her to remain an amateur and resist the lure of professional golf despite performing strongly across the WPGA Tour of Australasia last summer.
Bennett will now face the world number 44, England’s Annabel Fuller in the round of 32, who won her opening match against Finald’s Katri Bakker, 2/1.
Although not looking too far forward, Bennett has a special someone by her side as she plots her way to the final.
“It would be unbelievable to win. I have my nan, Betsy, here with me from Australia, and it would be very special.”
Bennett, and West Australian Abbie Teasdale were the only two Aussies in the field this week, and both progressed to the knock-out stage of the tournament after both finished one-over-par in a share of 36th place following the opening two rounds of qualifying.
Sadly, for Teasdale, her tournament ended in the round of 64, going down Wales Ffion Tynan, 4&2.
The Women’s Amateur Champion will receive a full exemption into the 2022 AIG Women’s British Open, The 2022 Evian Championship, the 2023 Augusta National Women’s Amateur, and the 2023 US Women’s Open, as well as an LET tour event.
The runner-up will receive an exemption to Final Qualifying for the 2022 AIG Women’s Open , while players who make it to the Semi will receive an invitation to compete in a Ladies European Tour Access Series event in 2022.