South Australian Stephanie Na has taken a big step towards a breakthrough Symetra Tour title after earning a share of the Round 1 lead at the Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic in New York.
One of five players to post 4-under 66 at Brook Lea Country Club, Na was bogey-free through her first 18 holes, picking up birdies at holes two, nine, 11 and 13 to be sitting atop the leaderboard heading into Round 2.
The 2008 Australian Amateur Stroke Play champion, Na’s best finish on the secondary Symetra Tour is a tie for second at the Symetra Classic in 2019, finishing 29th on the moneylist to just miss out on promotion to the LPGA Tour.
Kiwi Julianne Alvarez also made a promising start to the tournament with a round of 2-under 68 with Hira Naveed and Julienne Soo a shot further back in a tie for 31st.
It was a difficult day for Gabi Ruffels who sits in a tie for 90th after an opening 2-over 72.
Also seeking promotion in 2022, Brett Drewitt has made a strong start to the defence of his title at the Memorial Health Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour.
Currently 23rd on the Order of Merit, Drewitt is just one shot off the lead at Panther Creek Country Club after a round of 6-under 65. Starting from the 10th tee, Drewitt went out in 31 featuring an eagle at the par-5 16th and added a lone birdie at the par-5 sixth to sit one behind Charlie Wi, TJ Vogel and John VanDerLaan.
Kiwi Steven Alker is one shot further back after a 5-under 66 with Brett Coletta the next best of the Aussies after an opening 1-under 70.
With the big names in action at The Open Championship two veterans are leading the way for the Australians at the PGA TOUR’s Barbasol Championship.
Greg Chalmers’ round of 6-under 66 puts him in a tie for 12th just two strokes behind leader Brian Stuard, Cameron Percy just one shot further back after a round of 5-under 67 to be tied for 21st following the opening round.