Road to the LPGA rookie Amanda Doherty (Atlanta, Georgia) went bogey free for the first round of the Carolina Golf Classic presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, starting with a birdie on No. 10. She added seven more birdies to end the day on Forest Oaks Country Club with a 8-under 64 and tied for the lead.
“The last few weeks I've been putting well and my ball striking has been like close but not quite there. Then today my ball striking was really good and I was putting good and you know that's when you can get everything to come together for a day that's you know when it'll be a lower round for sure,” said Doherty.
She has had what some may call a “solid year.” With six top-10 finishes, including one runner-up, Doherty has climbed the Race for the Card rankings. She entered this week at No. 10, but is fully aware she is on the bubble with players who are all fighting for the last cards this season.
“Obviously I would like to get my card. I'm right on the bubble so a lot of nerves for sure you know anybody who would be in my position and say there's not is fully lying,” said Doherty. “I am just trying to kind of embrace that because it is what it is and I'm where I want to be. It would be nicer to be higher but I'm in a good spot and my game feels good so I'm just trying to leave that off the course as much as I can which is almost impossible but you know just taking a shot by shot.”
Tied with Doherty is three-time Epson Tour champion Daniela Iacobelli (Melbourne, Florida), who has graduated from the Epson Tour in 2012 and 2015. She’s put herself in contention a handful of times this season, but said she can “only hope to repeat what she did today again.” Her first round 8-under 64 came with the help of seven birdies on the first seven holes of the day.
“I dropped the putt on the first and I think you can ask most golfers like birdieing is almost a kiss of death. You're like oh God it's gonna be one of those days, but then I just kept making them. It felt like I was just practicing,” said Iacobelli. “Sarah White and I play switch on the putting greens all the time and it literally just felt like I was doing that. It was so weird but it was like every single putt.”