Sarah Bertram leads the Carolinas Women's Amateur
First round leader Sarah Bertram <br>(CGA Photo)
First round leader Sarah Bertram
(CGA Photo)

WILMINGTON, NC (June 2, 2017) - Sarah Bertram of Concord, N.C. holds a one-shot advantage at two-under 70 after the first round of the 91st Carolinas Women's Amateur Championship at Porters Neck Country Club in Wilmington, N.C.

"I think I did really well," said Bertram. "I hit four birdies, which is more than usual. Everything was going correctly for me." Bertram, a 22-year-old Gardner-Webb women's golf alum, credits her pitching wedge for giving her opportunities for easy birdie putts, most notably on the par-4 18th, where she came up roughly five feet short of dunking in an eagle. "My pitching wedge was my friend today. I didn't hit many low-yardage wedges, but my pitching wedge was what I used on the last hole."

The game plan tomorrow will remain the same for Bertram, but with a few minor adjustments. "I would love to do the exact same thing as I did today. I have been working on a couple minor swing changes, so if I can focus on that and just stay calm, I think I can do just as well."

Defending champion Ashley Sloup of Southport, N.C. sits just one-shot back of Bertram at one-under 71. "I felt really good about everything," said Sloup. "I just wanted to enjoy the day, take it one shot at time, and do the best that I can. Whatever is in God’s plan is going to happen."

Sloup, a 21-year-old rising senior and member of the Winthrop University golf team, acknowledged there is added pressure as the defending champion, but taking things "one day, one round, one shot, and one hole" at a time is the key to staying focused. "Winning it last year, I didn't want to put too much pressure on myself. That was last year, and I am thankful for it. It was the tournament of a lifetime for me and it definitely gave me a lot of confidence. There is still a lot of golf to be played."

Mary Chandler Bryan of Chapin, S.C. sits in a three-way tie for third at even par 72. Bryan, 23, feels confident she can perform better tomorrow. "I had a lot of birdie chances," said Bryan. "It was a good overall day, but I did not hit it as solid as I did yesterday. If I hit it a little better, I will have even more doable birdie chances and I think that will help me out." Kathryn Carson of Mooresville, N.C. and Savanna Wood of Boone, N.C. also join Bryan in the tie for third place.

Patty Moore of Charlotte, N.C. leads the Carolinas Division, finishing the day at 2-over-par 74. Carole Jones of Hillsborough, N.C. and June Wang of Huntersville, N.C. are tied for second at six-over 78.

A total of 79 golfers competed in the 91st Carolinas Women's Amateur Championship, the longest running women's amateur golf championship in the Carolinas.

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ABOUT THE Carolinas Women's Amateur

The championship is conducted at 54 holes of stroke play (no cut). All players, regardless of Handicap Index, have the option to play in the Championship Division or the Carolinas Division. The Overall Champion will be determined from the contestants playing in the Championship Division. Awards will also be given for the low senior in the Championship and Carolinas divisions (age 50-64), the low Super Senior in the Carolinas Division (ages 65 and older), and the medalist in the Championship Division (low score after 36 holes).

Entry is open to any female amateur golfer who has reached her 13th birthday by the first day of the championship, is a legal resident of North Carolina or South Carolina, is a member in good standing of a club which is a member of the Carolinas Golf Association and has an active USGA Handicap Index at a CGA member club that does not exceed 40.4.

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