It’s one of the biggest events of the year on the Symetra Tour and Canada’s Augusta James is exactly where she needs to be after the first round.
The Bath, Ontario pro, who has conditional status on the LPGA but will see limited starts, made the best of her Thursday round at the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Classic in Greenwood, South Carolina.
James, currently 22nd on the Symetra Tour money list, turned in an opening 68 (-4) that has her sharing the lead with two other players.
Fellow Canadian Anne-Catherine Tanguay is one stroke back at -3 and shares 4th.
Augusta’s round was a colourful affair that included three bogies, four birdies, and an eagle. The eagle came on the 6th hole, her 15th of the day, and came courtesy of a pitch from 38 yards.
James’ 68 is her lowest round of the season and her first sub-par round since March 30 at the Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club.
“I’m very happy, it was great to put together a good round even with the wind picking up in some spots,” said James, who has 12 career top 10 finishes since 2015 on the Symetra Tour. “There wasn’t a whole lot that went wrong today.”
James had help prepping for the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women’s Health Classic as Team Canada’s Head Women’s Coach Tristan Mullally was in town early in the week.
“Tristan is really helpful in general and it is very helpful to have him during a tournament week,” said James. “His expertise takes us all to this level so we have him to thank.”
Mullally spent time with the Canadian trio of James, Anne-Catherine Tanguay and Brittany Marchand.
“During a tournament week, we do a lot of maintenance and work on things we personally want to work on,” said James. “He doesn’t like to turn it into a training camp, it’s strictly tournament prep. Other weeks are more technical.”
The tournament this week has a purse of $200,000 with the winner’s share being $30,000.
All three past winners of the event have earned enough to be among the top players on the tour by the end of the year that earn LPGA status for the following season.