Tara Fleming of New Jersey National survived windy conditions - and a triple bogey - and carded a six-over-par 77 to take the first-round lead in the 36-hole New Jersey State Golf Association 50th Women’s Senior Amateur Championship at the par-71, 5,499-yard Beacon Hill Country Club in Atlantic Highlands.
Fleming, 52, the 2017 NJSGA Women’s Player of the Year, holds a seven-stroke lead over Sue DeKalb of Bella Vista. Sue Dahabsu of Colts Neck and Donna Young of Springdale are tied for third at 85.
In the Super-Senior Division, Kathy McGrorry of Jumping Brook leads the competition with an 88, followed by Mary Fenton of Lakewood with a 93.
“The wind was a little challenging with some of the club selections I had to make today,” Fleming said. “I played here a couple of years ago, but I didn’t remember some of the blind shots off the tee.”
Her triple bogey came on the par-4, 350-yard, No. 10 when she four-putted. She also had trouble keeping her tee shots in the proper fairway.
“I got a little ahead of myself at times. I played up the wrong fairway on No. 1, No. 10, and No. 11. It wasn’t that I was erratic off the tee, just that I was hitting it too far. I’m disappointed because I should have had more birdies. I only had one, at No. 16,” Fleming explained.
Fleming is a former LPGA Tour player who lives in Jersey City and has twice won the NJSGA Women’s Mid-Amateur (2017, 2015). This summer, she won two matches in the U.S. Women’s Senior Amateur Championship.
“I didn’t take advantage of the par fives today. On No. 12, for instance, I hit driver, five iron, and hit it over the green. The 77 wasn’t horrible. It’s just that it could have been a lot better. It was just one of those days. I’m not playing enough because of my work schedule,” Fleming noted.
Fleming, a native of Canada, was part of the New Jersey team that won the U.S. Women’s National Team championship in 2014 with Alice Chen and Cindy Ha of Valley Brook.