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NORTH CONWAY, New Hampshire – In what was a rain-soaked start to the New England Women’s Amateur, the first regional championship of the season, Megan Buck (Thorny Lea GC) led the field with a 1-over-par 72, complete with two birdies and three bogeys Monday at North Conway CC.
“Not playing in any competitive tournaments for so long, I wasn’t really sure what my expectations were coming into the round today,” Buck said. “My goal was just to go out and stay patient and make it through the day.”
Buck made the turn after her front nine at even par, with a birdie on the par-4 12th hole moving her to 1-under. Consecutive bogeys on 13 and 14 would move her to 1-over.
“I really enjoyed the course,” Buck said. “From the tee you can see what you’ve got, I like the way it’s set up for my game. It definitely played a little longer today with the rain.”
Established in 1956, and originally known as the NEWGA Championship, 2020 is the first year the event has been merged with the New England Golf Association. The NEGA Women’s amateur is a 54-hole event contested annually in one of the six New England states, with hosting duties rotating among the states.
“Being entrusted to carry on the legacy of such a prominent women’s event in New England was important for us this season,” said Greg Howell, Manager of Operations for the NEGA. “We’re glad that with everyone’s hard work and dedication, including those at North Conway CC, we were able to get this event played.”
Shannon Johnson (Thorny Lea GC) shot 2-over 73 and like Buck, also made two birdies, but added four bogeys.
“I was pleased with the number I shot,” Johnson said. “I wasn’t hitting the ball very well but I was managing to get up and down at various times. When you’re not swinging the best you just have to figure out a way to get the ball in the hole.
Johnson is the reigning 2018 and 2019 New England Women’s Amateur champion and is looking for a three-peat this week.
“It would obviously be awesome,” she said. “That’s the goal going into this event. I’m not necessarily trying to think about the last two years. I think we’re all just excited to be out and playing again.”
Johnson started her round with a 2-over par 37 on her front nine. A birdie on the 12th followed by one more bogey on the 13th finished the damage on her day as well, as she stayed at 2-over par for the rest of the round.
Including Buck and Johnson, seven players from Massachusetts currently sit inside the top ten. Among them are teenage sisters Morgan Smith (Vesper CC) and Molly Smith (Vesper CC), 2019 Grace Keyes Cup champion Susan Curtin (Boston GC), 2019 NEGA Women’s Amateur runner-up Krystal Knight (Bradford CC) and Nicki Demakis (CC of New Bedford).
For more information, visit negagolf.org .