North Conway, New Hampshire – The sun came out and so did the birdies for the second round of the NEGA Women's Amateur on Tuesday at North Conway Country Club. Shannon Johnson (Thorny Lea GC; MA) gained control over the field with one of the only two rounds under par, shooting a 3-under 68. She now has a two-stroke lead and is in position to win her third consecutive title at this event.
With some position switches on the leaderboard and a trend of stronger scores after the weather had passed, it is still a close race at the top as the competitors head into the final 18 holes Wednesday morning. Allison Paik (Ledgemont CC; RI) joined Johnson as the other under par round, and is just two strokes off the lead after recording four birdies and finishing at 2-under 69 on Tuesday.
"A lot more of my putts were dropping today compared to yesterday," Paik said. "I hit it well both yesterday and today, but the putting was definitely key for today’s round."
ONLINE: ROUND 2 RESULTS | ROUND 3 STARTING TIMES | ROUND 1 RECAP | NEGA WOMEN’S AMATEUR
Paik was paired with Jonson and first-round leader Megan Buck (Thorny Lea GC; MA), who shot another 1-over 72 to drop to third place. “They’re both very consistent, Paik said. "They hit greens and make putts. They’re a good example of everything I try to do with my own game. I’m looking forward to being able to play with them again tomorrow.”
A familiar name to the event, the two-time defending champion Johnson sits solo first after a tough start to the round with a double bogey on the par-3 4th hole. But her composure would carry her through the rest of the round as five birdies fell in her final 11 holes resulting in an impressive 3-under 68.
“I hit the ball decently the first few holes and had one bad swing on the par three and it didn’t go to plan," Johnson said. "I continued to hit the ball well and set myself up for some chances and saw a few of those birdies start to fall.”
Johnson also said the course played a little shorter Tuesday, and that it was helpful without the rain this time. The same seemed to apply to others as well as 28 golfers (more than half of the field) fired better scores in the second round.
"After the amount of rain the competitors played through yesterday we were not surprised in the least by how many terrific rounds we saw come in through scoring," said Greg Howell, Manager of NEGA Operations. "The scoring average was one and a half strokes lower today which is great to see. We just can't say enough about how pleased we are with how things are running operationally and how the players are responding to the playing conditions."
The final round of the NEGA Women's Amateur will begin at 8 a.m., Wednesday, July 1.
Top 10 after Round 2
1 - Shannon Johnson; Thorny Lea GC (MA) (-1) 73, 68
2 - Allison Paik; Ledgemont CC (RI) (+1) 74, 69
3 - Megan Buck; Thorny Lea GC (MA) (+2) 72; 72
4 - Susan Curtin; Boston GC (MA) (+6) 75; 73
5 - Morgan Smith; Vesper CC (MA) (+7) 75; 73
T6 - Jennifer Keim; Dennis Pines GC (MA) (+8) 80; 70
T6 - Tara Watt; Derryfield CC (NH) (+8) 75; 75
T8 - Krystal Knight; Bradford CC (MA) (+10) 77; 75
T8 - Jordan Laplume; Dunegrass GC (ME) (+10) 76; 76
T8 - Molly Smith; Vesper CC (MA) (+10) 76; 76
For more information, visit the NEGA web site at negagolf.org. Follow the NEGA on social media @NEGA_Golf.
About the New England Golf Association (NEGA): negagolf.org
The New England Golf Association ®, established in 1926, is a 501(c)3 amateur golf organization comprised of leaders from the six New England golf associations – Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
In addition to serving the needs of golf in New England, the organization's primary purpose is to conduct the following premier tournament events: New England Amateur Championship ®, New England Junior Amateur Invitational, New England Girls’ Junior Amateur Invitational, and New England Senior Amateur Championship