Concord’s Belinda Ji has shot a blistering course record-setting eight-under-par 66 in her morning round on the way to claiming NSW Champion of Champions honours at Manly Golf Club.
Ji’s flawless opening round included eight birdies and no bogeys to add another course record to her growing resume. Concord’s Michelle Bang and Sophie Eppelstun from Catalina Country Club were the only other players to shoot sub-par rounds in the morning, carding a 70 (-4) and 71 (-3), respectively.
Ji, however, was just too hard to catch. Her opening 66, combined with her afternoon round of 73, meant her nine-under-par 139 total was good enough for a three-shot win over her nearest competitor, Bang.
The NSW state team member was ecstatic with how she played today.
“I managed my strategy around the course well and hit some solid shots. The putter was also on fire,” Ji grinned.
The round of the afternoon belonged to Bang, who followed up her stellar morning round with a two-under-par 72 under testing conditions to finish runner-up at six under par.
Early morning leader Louise Mullard of Wyong Golf Club shot a one over par and finished the tournament at an impressive two over par.
Ji, though, was the star of the day. She is also playing in the Victorian Open next week and hopes to produce another stellar result. Later this year, she plans to return to the United States to compete against the world’s best.
“Last year was an eye-opening experience, so I am hoping to take what I learned and use it to be competitive and in contention.”
The Club Champion of Champions played at Manly Golf Club brings together club champions from all over New South Wales. The prestigious event has been played since 1931, with past winners including 11-time champion Elizabeth Cavill and two-time champion Shelly Shin. Another notable event winner newly turned professional Kelsey Bennett, claimed the crown in 2017.
The event is played over 36 holes in one day, proving it to be a test of the best.
- Belinda Ji 139
- Michelle Bang 142
- Sophie Eppelstun 144
- Louise Mullard 150
- Madi Woodley 153