Tuscaloosa, Alabama has welcomed professional golf into their community and the women on the Epson Tour are showing them what they’re made of. On day one of the tournament, Robyn Choi lit up the course, shooting an impressive 10-under par 62. The Aussie was bogey free on the day.
“It’s pretty exciting,” said Choi. “It’s my personal best, so I was kind of nervous on the last hole. I had a three-, four-footer, but I was kind of shaking over it. I’m glad I made it.”
Not only did Choi shoot a personal best, but also a course best. Her 62 broke the Ol’ Colony Golf Course record by one stroke.
“Breaking a course record always feels good,” said Choi. “I’m really happy. I’ve broken one course record before, but it was only a 67. It just feels good.”
Currently No. 14 in the Ascensus Race for the Card standings, Choi knew heading into the inaugural event that she’d have to play well to give herself a good chance at ending the season ranked where she wanted. Rather than think about that on the course, Choi left it behind and focused on her game.
“My mindset was having no expectations,” said Choi. “Not in a bad way, but in the situation I’m in, I have to have a good round or good tournament to finish in the top-10. I felt like that would be an extra pressure to think about, but I threw that away and tried to play the game.”
Choi’s mindset for tomorrow remains the same. Instead of trying to fix something that isn’t broken, the Aussie will trust her abilities.
“I think I’m going to go into tomorrow with the mindset I had today,” said Choi. “Play steady golf, grab the opportunity when I can, and make as little bogeys as I can. Par is always good, but when I get the chance make it and grab it and go from there.”
Just two shots behind Choi, in solo second place, was Bailey Tardy. The Georgia native finds herself in contention for the second week in a row. Like Choi, Tardy went bogey-free on the day and carded eight birdies.
In third place, at 7-under was Laura Wearn. Also recording a bogey-free round, Wearn stands three strokes back from the lead. The North Carolina native carded three consecutive birdies after making the turn from No. 18 to No. 1.
Following the trend of a bogey-free round was Katelyn Sisk, who sits in solo fourth place at 6-under. Sisk walked off the green proud of herself and confident. She says regardless of the outcome on Saturday and Sunday, she’s glad to see her hard work pay off during the first round.
“It felt really good given that I missed the cut last week in Arkansas,” said Sisk. “I had probably the worst ball striking during an event that I’ve had all year last week. I just couldn’t figure it out, so I came here this week and worked really really hard on it.”
Rounding out the top five, tied for fifth at 5-under, were Celine Borge, Milagros Chaves and Linnea Strom. A total of 64 players shot even-par or better, including University of Alabama alumnus Jiwon Jeon and Lakareber Abe.