Modest start by Anika Varma

The teenager, who shifted base from India to US last year to further her golf career, was placed Tied-55th after the first round.

By   |  Published: 4th Aug 2020  9:42 pm

Rockville: 16-year-old Anika Varma became the first Indian golfer to tee off at the US Women’s Amateur Championship, carding a three-over 75 to make a modest start here.

The teenager, who shifted base from India to US last year to further her golf career, was placed Tied-55th after the first round. The top 64 after two rounds of stroke-play will advance into the match-play segment of the Championship.

Varma, coached by Noah Montgomery who works with India’s leading star Gaganjeet Bhullar, struck two birdies, one on either side of the 6,553-yard, par-72 layout at Woodmont Country Club course. But she also gave away five bogeys in challenging conditions in which the players weathered some long rough and fast greens.

Two other Indian-Americans – Megha Ganne of New Jersey and Gurleen Kaur of Texas – shot 71 and 78 respectively to be placed Tied-7th and T-102. Varma opened with a par and then had a bogey on second and a birdie on the third before she settled down.

Two more bogeys on the seventh and ninth saw her turn in two-over 38. She endured bogeys on the 12th and 16th and a birdie in between on the par-five 15th for one-over 37 on the tougher back nine.

Rachel Kuehn and Riley Smyth, both playing in their first Women’s Amateur, carded four-under 68s and shared the lead as Hurricane Isaias approached Maryland delaying the round by two hours and 16 minutes. Two players were yet to finish. Kuehn, 19, with her older brother on the bag, birdied six of her first 11 holes but ran out of birdies thereafter and bogeyed the 13th.