If there’s such a things as a Coffs Harbour-ologist, Meghan MacLaren could well be it.
The 27-year-old Englishwoman leads after day one of the Australian Women’s Classic after doing nothing more than resuming normal service on the northern New South Wales coast.
MacLaren, already a winner of Wednesday’s pro-am, carded five birdies and no bogeys around Bonville Resort today to head a crowded leaderboard with a fine 67.
The winner of one of her two Women’s NSW Open crowns at nearby Coffs Harbour Golf Club in 2018, MacLaren joked that the Ladies European Tour should move its base to the Coffs Coast.
“I need to move here (and) I need to get the Tour to set up shop here. I love it here, I can’t complain,” she beamed.
“I am pleased with that score on the whole, I think it is probably the lowest round I have shot around here, but I certainly played well enough to get a couple of more out there.
“But if you go bogey-free anywhere, you have got to be satisfied.”
MacLaren, who began her round on the ninth hole, birdied all three par-5s on the way out and left another couple of putts on the lip, to boot.
On her inward half, she dodged a bullet on the long seventh to scramble a par after being out of position, but cashed in on lovely tee shots on the par-3 third and closing eighth holes.
And it’s hard to see her not being prominent throughout the week, clearly enjoying her return to Australia, her most lucrative hunting ground in her six years as a professional.
“I am in a great place. It was a bit of a rollercoaster emotionally the first couple months of the year just trying to figure out what I wanted to do and what I thought was best for me,” she said.
“But once I drew the line and made the call (to return to the LET from the American feeder tour), I have been really settled and just enjoying my golf and enjoying the process again so just putting some scores together again.”