Date: February 02, 2007
Author: Alistair Hogg

National squad girls excel at Royal Sydney

By Alistair Hogg In what is a promising sign for the future of Australian golf, six of the eight Golf Australia national squad girls have made the cut in the 2007 MFS Women&aposs Australian Open. Bree Arthur, Emma Bennett, Kate Combes, Sarah Oh, Kristie Smith and Alison Whitaker all posted scores below the eight-over par that was required to see out the weekend at Royal Sydney Golf Club. Smith was the pick of the bunch finishing her second round two under the card to leave her at just one-over for the tournament. The West Australian went birdie-bogey to start from the tenth before back to back birdies on five and six gave her the boost that was required to post her solid sub-par round of 70. Arthur was the pace-setter for the day though as she birdied her opening two holes. A third followed on the sixth before a double bogey on seven and another on 10 foiled her chances of challenging the leaders. Four bogeys on the back nine dropped her back in the leader board but her strong performance early in the day ensured her a ticket to the weekend action. Combes finished the second round at two-under par after posting consistent scores of 73 on each day so far. After dropping three shots in her opening two holes, the young Victorian regained her composure to birdie two of the first three holes after the turn and bar a slip up on the par five fifth, didn&apost look back. Oh began her round from the tenth and struggled to find a rhythm early. After a fluctuating start, the 18-year old took seven holes to record her first par. She settled on the second nine but a double-bogey on her final hole meant Oh would have to settle for seven-under and scrape through to the final rounds. After a strong opening round of 73, Whitaker found the going tough on the second day but still managed to make the cut with a score of seven-over. She made back-to-back birdies around the turn but three straight bogeys coming home threatened to de-rail her plans of qualifying, however the US college bound Victorian was delighted to discover she had made the cut. Bondad meanwhile left herself a lot of work to do after dropping six shots through her opening nine holes. In the end it proved too much work as she only missed the cut by two strokes. Na also put herself under pressure early, going eight-over through nine holes and a late charge wasn&apost quite enough to get her over the line. Golf Australia National Squad at the 2007 MFS Women&aposs Australian Open: +1: Kristie Smith 75 70 +2: Kate Combes 73 73 +4: Bree Arthur 71 76 +6: Emma Bennett 77 73 +7: Sarah Oh, 75 76, Alison Whitaker 73 78 ———————————————————– +10: Bondad 77 77, Na 75 79