Bonville Golf Resort, 5 - 7 April, 2024

The Australian Women's Classic Bonville - Presented by Pacific Bay Resort Studios

Day One LIVE: MacLaren Sits Alone On Top

Meghan MacLaren sits atop the Australian Women’s Classic leaderboard midway through the first round, but she doesn’t own the day’s biggest roar.

England’s MacLaren was fulfilling her post-round media obligations following her fine five-under 67 when young Australian Stephanie Bunque holed out for eagle on the 18th in full view of the expansive Bonville clubhouse.

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Bunque had been lucky to avoid a watery grave short of the closing par-5 with her long approach, but her sand wedge from the edge of the penalty area took one hop and dived into the hole, sparking a huge roar.

It was the Victorian’s second eagle in a stunning final five holes as she scythed through the field to four under, having been one over standing on the 14th tee.

It was in stark contrast to MacLaren’s round which began off the ninth tee and built steadily with three well-crafted par-5 birdies on the way out, then two lovely tee shots to set up par-3 birdies on the way home.

Bunque’s charge brought her level with Spanish veteran Carmen Alonso, who is playing as well as ever in her 18th season on the Ladies European Tour.

It left them a shot clear of a gregarious pair in Northern Ireland’s Olivia Mehaffey and England’s Alice Hewson who each showed flashes of brilliance but mixed in their share of bogeys in opening 69s.

Young Queenslander Justice Bosio is the early leading amateur at two under, among a host of internationals including the field’s highest-ranked player, Sweden’s Maja Stark.

Crowd favourite and LPGA Tour player Sarah Kemp looked ominous early when she birdied the tough 13th, then sat on the lip for eagle on the 14th.

But Kemp couldn’t buy a putt afterwards and finished at one under.

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Meghan Maclaren chips to the 18th on her way to a five under 67

10.30am: MacLaren, Mehaffey Share Early Lead

Coffs Harbour specialist Meghan MacLaren has jumped to an early share of the Australian Women’s Classic lead at Bonville Resort.

MacLaren, a past winner of the Women’s NSW Open at nearby Coffs Harbour Golf Club, is three under through 12 holes having begun her round on the ninth this morning.

She shares top spot on the leaderboard with Northern Ireland’s Olivia Mehaffey.

Spain’s Carmen Alonso and promising Sydney amateur Brie Mapanao are next at two under.

All four have taken advantage of sunny and benign conditions at Bonville, with MacLaren having missed a couple of chances to spread the field even further.

The Englishwoman, fresh from a win in Wednesday’s pro-am, birdied all three par-5s on the back nine and left another couple of putts on the lip, to boot.

Mehaffey, runner-up in the pro-am and on her professional Australian debut, started with a bogey on the ninth, but caught fire around the clubhouse with birdies on the 18th, 1st, 2nd and 4th holes to surge through the field.

Crowd favourite and LPGA Tour player Sarah Kemp looked ominous early when she birdied the tough 13th, then sat on the lip for eagle on the 14th.

But Kemp she gave shots back on the 16th and 1st to fall back to square.

Newly minted Queensland professional Cassie Porter was also prominent early, but having elected to lay up for safety on the par-5 18th, she left her next two chips short en route to a double-bogey seven to turn at one under.

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Cassie Porter was one of the early leaders

7.45am: Cool Cassie out to early lead

It’s Day ONE LIVE here at Bonville Golf Resort in the 2022 Australian Women’s Classic , and the the early birds are already on the move.

Queensland young gun Cassie porter is on a roll straight out of the starting gates, with birdies on her opening two holes.

It is early days, though and there are an other nine players already win red figures at one-under, including Concord Amateur Belinda Ji, and back to back NSW Open Champion, England’s Meghan MacLaren.

Conditions here are perfect for golf, with no wind and just a hint of crispness in the air.

The boffins as the weather Bureau have is heading for a maximum of 23 degrees with just a chance of a few showers later in the day.

Stay tuned here for updates and all the new and views as we bring you all the best action from here at Bonville

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