AUBURN, Mass. – Katie Nelson of Auburn, looking to repeat as champion of the WGAM Amateur Golf Championship, shot off to an impressive start Tuesday.
Nelson, who graduated from Holy Name High School in 2011, advanced to the Round of 16 of the Women’s Golf Association of Massachusetts tournament at the Brae Burn Country Club in Newton.
She beat Chris Coughlin in the Round of 32 on Tuesday by the match play score 5 and 4, advancing to Wednesday’s match against Lauren Flynn.
“We were close on the front nine holes, but I started to hit the ball better on the back nine and was able to pull away,” Nelson said. “The greens are tough out here, but I hit a few nice putts on the back nine, which helped.”
Nelson, who plays golf at Siena College, is the top seed in the tournament after winning the title last summer. She believes that having the freshman golf season behind her will help in this tournament.
“I played in a lot of tournaments at Siena. It was the best learning experience,” Nelson said. “I know what I’m capable of doing here. I just need to stay confident.”
If she beats Flynn on Wednesday morning, she would advance to a quarterfinal match in the afternoon.
“Playing 36 holes on the same day is very demanding mentally,” Nelson said. “But I did it last year and in college, so I’m sort of used to it. You really need to keep your mind focused on every shot.”
Semifinal matches are Thursday morning, and the championship is that afternoon.
During her freshman year at Siena, Nelson won a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference golf championship, made an NCAA tournament appearance and was given an All-American Scholar award. She finished her first season at Siena with a 3.77 GPA in business.