The first ever round of the Augusta National Women's Amateur took place on Wednesday at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, and a big name co-leads after 18 holes (more on that in a minute). Only 14 of the 72 golfers cracked par, and the cutoff right now for the 30 that will make it to the final round at Augusta National on Saturday is right around 2 over (which is something to keep an eye on come Thursday's cut). Let's take a deeper look at Round 1.
First place -- Jennifer Kupcho and Zoe Campos (-4): Kupcho is the reigning NCAA champion, and it's no surprise that she's off to a hot start here. She's the No. 1 amateur in the world and probably the biggest talent in the field. On Wednesday, she hit every green, made no bogeys and birdied three of her final five holes -- quite similar to how she won last year's NCAAs, by the way -- to take the co-lead with Campos.
"[I'm most proud of] the fact that I went bogey free as well as I hit 18 greens today," Kupcho said. "I don't do that very often so it was super cool to do that."
Campos's 68 came a little bit differently as she made six birdies -- which was tied for most in the field on Wednesday -- but also two bogeys. It was a little bumpier ride for the 16-year-old than it was the veteran Kupcho. She said afterward that she's here -- like I'm sure many of the women are -- for the experience.
"I don't really expect myself to be up top," Campos said. "I really just focused on making the cut. It's not my, like, absolute goal to win this tournament. I just really want to get a good experience out of it."
What did Kyle's pick do? I took Maria Fassi from Arkansas, who is currently 2 under and T4 on the leaderboard after making four birdies over her first 10 holes of the day.
"I was shaking like so bad on the first tee before I was about to tee off," Fassi said. "I love that feeling. I think it was worthy of how big this tournament is. We're being part of history, and I think that if I would have not been nervous, I would have been worried.
"So I was kind of glad that I felt that way, but then at the same time, it was just like, 'Okay, you're here, let's just enjoy and I just wanted to hit the fairway, No. 1.' As soon as I did that, I was like, 'Okay, you've got this.' I've played enough to where I could handle it, and it's just amazing. It's a treat to be out here."
I'm feeling pretty good about the selection as she's two back with 36 to go.
First shot: Kupcho pulled double duty on Wednesday as she also hit the first shot in ANWA history.
"It was very official," Kupcho said. "I walked up, everyone was very quiet, like no talking to each other at all. I was like, 'Oh, my gosh, this is crazy.' But yeah, it was a great experience to have everyone there. Mr. Chairman [Fred Ridley] was there. It was exciting to get to hit it."
Cut line: As Campos noted, most everyone here is around for the experience, and the biggest part of that experience is going to be playing a final round at Augusta National on Saturday. However, only the top 30 get in. After the first day that includes everyone at 2 over or better. With the scoring average well over par in Round 1 though, I would expect to see it rise to 4 over or maybe even 5 over. With 68 of 72 golfers at 8 over or better, that means pretty much everyone is still in it to make it to the final this weekend.