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Stuttering start puts Stephanie Meadow in major trouble

By Peter Hutcheon

A three-over par 76 was not how Stephanie Meadow was looking to start her first major of 2015.

The tough set-up at the Westchester course in New York took its toll on her in the first round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship.

Meadow, though, has something of a reputation for being a slow starter and has shown often in the past that once she has got an indifferent first round out of her system and feels she knows a course, she can improves greatly over the following three days.

Her first task is to make sure that it is three days and tomorrow's second round is not her last.

Her 76 left her outside the top 100 and she knows she is probably going to have to shoot something in the order of a 69 or 70 to be in with a chance of making the cut after today's second round.

Frenchwoman Joanna Klatten set the early clubhouse lead at three under yesterday with a round of 70, but it was by no means straightforward for any of the top class field on a difficult set-up.

Double major winner Christie Kerr later matched that total, which proved to be a popular score on the opening day of the championship, the second women's major of five to be played this year.

Meadow dropped two shots in her opening four holes, although she did manage to half that deficit with a birdie two at the fifth.

And she got it back to level par with a birdie four as she reached the turn, but things got a little more tricky from then on in.

That proved to be her last birdie of the day and she bogeyed three more holes on her way to the clubhouse for what was a disappointing first round effort.

Meadow will feel that she is still in with an excellent chance of making the halfway cut, which is crucial in her efforts to earn enough prize money on tour to earn her full playing rights without having to return to qualifying school at the end of the season.

Meanwhile back at a sunny Portstewart Leona Maguire continued her imperial march in the Women's British Amateur Open Championship.

The Co Cavan woman, who topped qualifying by a hugely impressive six strokes, strolled into the last 16 with two impressive victories in yesterday's first knock-out rounds.

She was six under for her round as she comprehensively dispatched Sweden's Martina Edberg by the enormous margin of eight and six in the first round.

She followed that up with a four and three win over Camille Chevalier (France) who had won her opening tie by six and five.

Maguire now faces the 16th qualifier, Joanna Charlton from Melbourne for a place in the quarter-finals.

Charlton was a three and two winner in her second round contest against Lucrezia Rosso from Italy.

Belgium's Leslie Cloots, who was beaten in the final of last year's championship at Royal St George's by Emily Pedersen (Denmark) - who has since turned pro - won by three and two in the second round against Jenny Haglund (Sweden) who lost to Pedersen in the semi-final 12 months ago.

Also in the top half of the draw Royal County Down's Olivia Mehaffey, a Great Britain and Ireland Vagliano Trophy selection, will meet one of Europe's team members, Madalene Sagstrom (Sweden), in an intriguing third round tie in the morning. Sagstrom is ranked No.3 in Europe behind Leona Maguire and Bronte Law, who is not playing in this championship.

The Vagliano Trophy will take place at Malone Golf Club in Belfast on June 26 and 27.

Sweden's Elin Esborn from Gothenburg, whose form dipped after she led at the end of the first qualifying round, has come back on song to reach the last 16.

She beat compatriot Linn Anderson, morning conqueror of the No 2 seed, Devon's Jessica Bradley, by three and two.

Belfast Telegraph


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