Victorian Stacey Keating is just four shots back after the opening round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G.
Keating signed for an opening round of two-under-par, 69. The Victorian started on the 10th and recorded birdies on the 12th, 1st, 4th and 6th holes, they were offset by two bogeys on the 16th and 8th holes. Keating is tied for 25th and in a great position in the three round tournament.
Leading the tournament is Canadian Alena Sharp who had seven birdies and one bogey in her six-under-par 65 at the Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. Sharp will take a slender one shot advantage into round two over US Open champion Michelle Wie and Mexican Alejandra Llaneza. 10 players are at four-under-par including Swede Caroline Hedwall, South Korean So Yeon Ryu and China’s Shanshan Feng.
Sharp’ s round of 65 ties her low round of the year and leads after the first round for the first time in her career. She described her round which included seven birdies and one bogey as ‘simple and relaxed.’ “Yeah, hit a lot of greens today, I only missed four greens,” said Sharp.
“Drove it well, wasn’t really in the rough at all so I got to lift, clean and place so got a perfect lie almost every time. Really didn’t hit outside of 20 feet much, made a lot of putts. It was really simple. It was fun to just play and not be stressed and just relax and enjoy the day.”
The next best placed Australian is Katherine Kirk, she opened up with a one-under-par 70 and is tied for 43rd. Fellow Queenslander Sarah Jane Smith is at even par and shares 58th position. The top 70 and ties will make the cut, which is at the moment even par. NSW’s Julia Boland and Victorian Lindsey Wright are currently two shots off the cut number at two-over and tied for 94th. Sarah Kemp will have to go low as she currently sits at four-over and tied for 124th.