There might not have been many flying the flag, but the Aussie girls did it proudly to begin the Australian Amateur Championship matchplay today.
While only 11 of the 32 qualifiers were Australian, six advanced to the top 16 with Perth’s Hannah Green the standout performer.
Green, 18, didn’t play her best golf in qualifying 27th for the matchplay, but she more than made amends today, dispatching high-flying Chinese prodigy Lei Ye 6-&-5 with authority.
Green will next face Korean Eun-Bin Lim who was an equally impressive 5-&-4 winner today over Chisato Hashimoto, of Japan.
Canadian Jaclyn Lee took down West Australian Hayley Bettencourt 2-&-1 and will face another Aussie, Liz Elmassian tomorrow.
Elmassian, playing on her home course and with father George on her bag, was square through nine holes against Minami Hiruta, who had a birdie putt on the 10th.
“But I just managed to chip one in and the match changed a bit from there,” Elmassian beamed.
“We traded birdies early, but I managed just to play my game out there and I’m really happy to have moved on.”
Victorian Jo Charlton pulled a mini surprise in beating Adelaide’s Jenny Lee 2-up, while Queensland’s Becky Kay toppled Sydney’s Doey Choi 2-&-1.
In the third of the All-Australian encounters, Melbourne’s Julianne Soo beat Sydney’s Cathleen Santoso 2-&-1, while top-ranked Aussie amateur Shelly Shin, also of Sydney, prevailed by the same score against plucky Kiwi Brooke Hamilton.
The big shock of the women’s draw came in the last match decided when No.2 seed and boom Korean Eun-jeong Seong fell to compatriot A-eun Cho on the 24th hole after a marathon contest.
Top seed So-young Lee looked ominous in toppling Kiwi Wenyung Keh to set up a round of 16 clash with China’s Yiyi Liu.