Andreas leads NCGA Women's Amateur
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (June 18, 2012) – Only one red number was seen during Monday’s opening round of the 8th Annual Women’s and Senior Women’s Amateur Championship and it belonged to the one wearing the red block “A” at Poppy Hills GC. University of Arizona junior-to-be and Pacific Grove native Haley Andreas capitalized on a stellar day with her short game to fire a 2-under 70 and take a two-stroke lead over the field.

Starting off on the 10th tee, Andreas found herself in the black after a bogey on 13. She converted a five-foot birdie try on 16 that was followed with a one-foot putt for birdie on the par-3 17th hole to gain momentum heading into the turn and put her in the red for good. Andreas added birdies on holes one, two and four with the help on a strong showing with her short irons.

“Even though I’m technically a local, the course was set up pretty tough so I had to hit good golf shots,” Andreas said of her high school home course. “The greens were really tough and you had to be making putts today. You had to be hitting fairways and greens. If you weren’t, it wasn’t easy.”

Andreas is no stranger to tomorrow’s closing course either, as she won the NCGA Junior Championship at Spyglass Hill in 2009. In fact, her 36-hole score of 3-under 143 in the Junior Championship stands as the current record in the tournament. She’s expecting to face a stiff test tomorrow in order to maintain the lead and notch her second NCGA major championship victory.

“Spyglass is a good track, so it will really test how I’m playing,” Andreas said. “I have the same game plan as today – fairways, greens, hopefully make some putts.”

If Andreas isn’t on her game, there is a quartet of players nipping on her heels, tied for second. Tiffany Lim, Carly Childs, Ashley Noda and Andrea Wong all finished the round at even-par 72 and a cluster of four more women are tied for sixth at 1-over.

Two-time winner Lynne Cowan (2006, 2007), the only former champion in the field, turned in a first round score of 5-over 77 to tie for 15th. Also of note, Sagee Palvivatana of eClub Sacramento rolled in a hole-in-one on the 172-yard par-3 15th. She stands tied for 13th at 4-over 76 after recording the only eagle of the day in either division.

The top spot on the leaderboard of the senior women’s division was captured by Marianne Towersey of Corral de Tierra CC. Towersey started the round on a rollercoaster, alternating bogeys and birdies through the first four holes before a tough stretch on the front nine saw her drop three strokes on holes six through eight. She regained her birdie form on the back nine, where she was 3-under in her first four holes. Her birdie on No. 11, a 150-yard par-3, was the only one rolled in the senior division. Towersey finished the round with a 2-stroke lead over the senior field after posting a 1-over 73.

Terry Mayes of Las Margaritas GC came in at 3-over 75 to take sole possession of second, one stroke ahead of Sandra Woodruff, last year’s senior division champion. Woodruff, of Pasiatiempo GC, played a steady round with no birdies and four bogeys on her card to stand at 4-over 76. Incidentally, the first-round top three matches the 2011 finish, with Woodruff winning, Towersey as runner-up and Mayes in third.

Tomorrow’s final round begins at 7:30 a.m. at Spyglass Hill, with pairings determined by first-round scores.

ABOUT THE NCGA Women's Amateur

The NCGA Women’s Amateur Championship is the association’s premier event for female golfers. Field limited to 76 eligible players in the championship division and 24 players in the senior division. All female golfers with a handicap index of 7.4 or less (or 18.4 or less for seniors) are eligible to enter. Format: 36 holes stroke play (18 holes per day).

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