CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — Tara Joy-Connelly's opening-round of 67 at Dalhousie Golf Club has the Sunshine State of Florida out to a one-shot lead over Georgia during the first round of the U.S. Women's State Team championship.
Joy-Connelly is a former representative of Massachusetts, having represented the Bay State seven times before. This, her second time as part of the Florida squad, is certainly off to a stellar start. She made six birdies to go along with a lone bogey at the par-4 14th as her and teammate Meghan Stasi (71) teamed up to post an aggregate total of 6-under 138.
Joy-Connelly won the 2003 and 2013 Massachusetts Women’s Amateurs, and is a six-time Massachusetts Women’s Open champion. Her most recent triumph was this year when she captured the Florida Women's Mid-Amateur.
Second-place Georgia had solid performances from all three players, though only two scores count each round. Leading the way was Emilie Meason with 69, followed by reigning U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur champion Margaret Shirley. Though Lauren Lightfritz's score (71) was dropped, she sits in sixth place individually with her 1-under par round on Thursday.
Abby Portyrata led Virginia to a third place spot through the first round, birdieing three of her last five holes to shoot 70. The Commonweath State sits at 2-under, two strokes ahead of fourth-place Maryland, who took two 72s from Aneka Seumanutafa and Delaney Shah.