Danielle Amiees driver was pro quality. But the combination of a case of nerves as the day started, plus a tendency to miss short on her approaches, were a problem. So were her chips.
It amounted to a 79 for the Big Break III winner in the opening round of the Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill Thursday. (Hole-By-Hole Account of Danielle's 1st Round.)
The nerves were incredible, but what a rush! she told The Golf Channel. When I got to the first tee I had so many supporters. They werent looking for my score they were just looking to motivate me. My drive I just ripped it down the center.
It was a gusty, damp day in Kingsmill, Va., with wind speeds of 20 miles per hour and wet fairways which afforded no roll. And with a large gallery following her and still hampered by nerves, she made double bogey at the second, a par-3. Her tee shot slid into a bunker, and her sand shot out of the deep hazard hung on top of the high lip.
Amiee wound up the front nine in 43 strokes, making two more bogeys and again taking a double on the other front-side par-3. A three-putt after another poor chip was the culprit on that hole ' the fifth.
However, she hit all seven of her fairways on the front side. Taking four extra strokes on the two short holes were very damaging.
She settled down on the back nine and played very good golf, shooting a 1-over-par with birdie at the par-3 13th. On that one she hit a superb iron shot on the 143-yard hole to 12 feet, then stroked in the putt. And she got up-and-down twice for pars.
I knew I was going to be okay before I even started today because this is such an experience and I knew it was going to be overwhelming emotionally, she said. I kept calm all day and I never got too upset or too down.
She only hit five of her first 15 greens, even though she had hit eight of 12 fairways to that point. But the rally coming in was very nice, turning what could have been a disaster into an acceptable day. Her short game was the killer.
The comeback on the back nine wasnt really a comeback, said Amiee. It was just me getting comfortable in my routine. I didnt feel like I came back, I just played my game.
Final stats: fairways hit, 10 of 14; greens hit, eight of 18; total putts, 35.