In her first start in a major championship Amelia Garvey sits in the top 15 after the opening round at the US Women’s Open. Garvey shot a one-under par round to find herself in 12th place amongst the best in the world at the final major of the year held at the Champions Golf Club in Texas.
She says her first major championship experience was one to remember, albeit the tournament being a little different than usual.
“It was awesome. It was just so fun.
“I was way more excited than nervous, and I honestly think having no crowds has helped me a ton. Walking up to the first tee today was no different to the practice round and it certainly felt like a standard round of golf. There weren’t many people around apart from the players and tournament staff,” she says.
She got off to a quick start with a birdie at the 10th; her first hole of the day. She carried on her solid play throughout her opening nine and made the turn at two-under par.
She came in with one-over to sign for an under-par round in her first competitive golf tournament in eight months.
Garvey says she had prepared for pretty much everything.
“I birdied the first hole which came as a bit of a surprise. I prepared for leading the tournament after the first round and I also prepared for coming dead last. Luckily it’s gone the way that I wanted it to.
“I felt comfortable throughout the entire round. I felt like I was hitting the ball really well and hit a few shots close which gave me some birdie chances which was nice. It was a grind out there all day as it's firm and fast and the ball is going miles.
“Even though we were playing well, we never got complacent, we never got too aggressive, and we just stuck to the plan we had and had to adjust to the conditions of the course,” Garvey explains.
She was lucky enough to spend some time with the other New Zealander in the field; former world number one Lydia Ko.
Garvey says spending some time with Ko was valuable leading up to the first round.
A second round of five-over 76 meant that Garvey missed the cut by the narrowest of margins, just one shot, in her maiden major championship.
Garvey played the Jack Rabbit course for her second round and began off the first tee. She opened with six straight pars before dropping a shot at the seventh and would make the turn at one-over par.
She got that shot back midway through the back nine on the 14th before going bogey, triple bogey, and bogey on the 15th, 16th, and 17th holes.
Garvey closed with a par to post the round of 76 just one shot off the cut line.
An amazing performance to come so close in her first major, likely not to be her last.