Rachel Kuehn takes Vicki DiSantis Girls' Championship Lead
First round leader Rachel Kuehn
CHARLOTTE, NC (May 13, 2017) - Two high school sophomores lead a group of 92 girls after the first round of the 12th Vicki DiSantis Girls' Championship at Pine Island Country Club in Charlotte, N.C. Rachel Kuehn of Asheville, N.C. and Anna Morgan of Spartanburg, S.C. were the only players to post rounds in the 60s Saturday on the par-72 layout.
Hitting 16 greens in regulation placed Kuehn in good position all day. Her six birdies were a combination of mid-range putts, a chip-in and a few tap-ins. Kuehn credits her short game for her low round of 67, "I practiced my short game all winter," said Kuehn, who is a member at Biltmore Forest Country Club. "I'm glad it finally paid off."
Holding a one-stroke lead over Morgan, Kuehn is looking to improve upon last year's T-10 finish, "I was a little disappointed with how I played last year," said the 15-year-old. "This feels like a good comeback from that."
After her round, Kuehn headed to the range to fine-tune her wedge game, "If you hit your driver well here, you will have a lot of wedges into greens," said Kuehn, who has verbally committed to play collegiate golf at Wake Forest University.
Morgan strung together four consecutive birdies to close out her opening nine. "My putting was the best part of my game today," said the 2016 Region III-5A individual champion after her opening round 68.
After finishing T-35 last year, Morgan attributes a retooled mental game to better play. Demonstrating that new mindset, she rebounded from her day's only bogey on No. 12 with a birdie on the par-3 13th. "I thought let's get that shot back quickly," remembered the 16-year-old. "My shot was just off the fringe, but I loved the putt... and made it center cup."
2016 Twin States Girls' champion Gracyn Burgess of Lexington, S.C. will round out the final group Sunday following an even-par 72 with two birdies and bogeys.
Sunday's final round will begin at 8:00 am from both the 1st and 10th tees. The lead group will tee off at 10:15 from the 1st tee.