Hurst Matches Wilshires Challenge


Wilshire Country Club dished out a tough challenge during the first round of The Office Depot presented by Amy Alcott. Early round leader Pat Hurst was one of only a handful of players able to record a first round score in the 60s. Hurst finished at 5-under-par 67 early in the day giving her a two shot lead going into Friday.
You know, with a three-day event, its definitely important to play well the first two days because youre only going to have one more round after that cut, Hurst said. So I tend to go out and be more aggressive in a three-day tournament. Today, I felt like thats what I was doing.
Marnie McGuire, Dina Ammaccapane, Michelle McGann and Kristi Albers are tied for second. All posted 3-under-par 69 on Thursday and along with Hurst they were the only players able to break 70.
McGuire, a native New Zealander, made bogey on the 7th after missing the green with her second shot and two putting. Other than that, the 36-year-old made four birdies in her round and felt good about her game.
I feel like things are starting to come together now. Ive been working with a new coach ' Jonathan Yarwood, McGuire said. Hes a fellow New Zealander like me. Hes also Michael Campbells coach. Weve worked on changing my swing, making it more simple ' trying to swing straight up and strait down. For me, everything is about improving my consistency so that I know where the ball is going every time I stand over it.
None of the afternoon groups were able to better or even match Hursts round. Annika Sorenstam got off to a very slow start making double-bogey on the first with a three-putt. She played safely through the front nine making par on the next ten holes. The course played tough and especially having an afternoon tee time, the wind increased and the greens were bumpier.
Wilshire Country Club, which has played host to mens tour events in the past, features small greens making it a good fit for players with accurate iron shots and distance off the tee. Hurst, who in 2000 ranked sixth in greens in regulation, and tenth in driving distance, has got what it takes to make a solid run for this week's title.
I heard the winners score for the Seniors when they were here was one-under, Sorenstam said. If Pat Hurst shoots five-under in the first round then that is a great start. If I am seven-under-par on Saturday then that will be a good finish.
Full-field scores from The Office Depot