Kelsey Bennett has impressed with a one-under-par 70 opening round at the 2022 World Amateur Teams Championship at Le Golf National in Paris.
Bennett’s teammate, Western Australian Kirsten Rudgeley, also carded a handy one-under round which assisted the Australian team into a share of sixth place at two under par total, just three back from the leaders, Team USA and well in the mix to claim the Espirito Trophy.
The pair sit in a tie for 11th on the individual leaderboard, only two shots back from the leading trio of France’s Constance Fouillet, the United States’ Rachel Heck and Sweden’s Meja Ortengren.
The Mollymook star, playing alongside Eila Galitsky of Thailand and Carolina Chacarra of Spain, got off to a slow start at the host venue for the golf at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games but still managed three birdies, including a back-to-back effort on the sixth and seventh.
“It felt okay,” said a smiling Bennett, who was undoubtedly glad to continue her excellent form from the US Women’s Amateur two weeks ago, where she made the round of 16.
“It felt pretty solid most of the day—a couple of good ones and a couple of bad ones.
“I was one-over early, and I got those two back. I was stuck at one under for the rest of it. It was a little bit of a struggle; not many putts dropped.”
West Australian Rudgeley carded five birdies in her round of 70, which, like Bennett, included back-to-back birdies at the sixth and seventh holes.
“The weather was awesome. My player partners were good and the course is always good here. I enjoyed the day,” Rudgeley said.
“I’ve got to putt it well and be smart around here. I took a little bit longer over my pre-shot routine to do that.”
The third member of the Australian team, Maddison Hinson-Tolchard, had a difficult opening to the tournament with a four-over round of 75.
The West Australian, who attends Oklahoma State University, had a sole birdie for the day and her putter let her down on numerous occasions.
The Australians shift to Golf de Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche for Thursday’s second round.
Round two tee times – Thursday 25 August AEST – Golf de Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche
8.28pm* Kirsten Rudgeley, Navaporn Soontreeyapas (Thailand), Cayetana Fernández (Spain)
8.39pm* Maddison Hinson-Tolchard, Suvichaya Vinijchaitham (Thailand), Paula Martin (Spain)
8.50pm* Kelsey Bennett, Eila Galitsky (Thailand), Carolina Chacarra (Spain)