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By Tom Mix, Published August 04 2009

Anderson in the lead at Women’s Amateur

After winning the U.S. Girls’ Junior last month at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Oxbow’s Amy Anderson said goodbye to being an unknown on the women’s golf scene.

Monday, the 17-year-old Anderson put together a good follow-up performance shooting a 3-under 68 at the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis, Mo. to take a one-stroke lead after the opening round.

“My putts fell in today and that helped keep my score down,” said Anderson, who has committed to play her collegiate golf at North Dakota State. “I missed one fairway all day and didn’t make many mistakes.”

Anderson holds a one-shot lead over Kimberly Kim of Hawaii and Ha Na Jang of Korea.

Anderson got an exemption to play in the Women’s Amateur after winning the Girls’ Junior.

She is also coming off a 10th-place finish in the girls division of the Junior PGA Championship last week at TPC River’s Bend in Maineville, Ohio.

Her Day 1 lead in the U.S. Women’s Amateur carries some potential historic significance.

Anderson is attempting to become the first player to win both the Girls’ Junior and the Women’s Amateur in the same year.

Only two golfers – Michiko Hattori and Viki Goetz – have ever won both events in their careers.

The potential to make history hasn’t gone unnoticed by Anderson, but she said she is still taking things one day at a time.

“I haven’t had much time to think about being the first player to win both events in the same year,” Anderson said. “I’m kind of just going out every day to play, add up my score and see where I’m at.”

Coming into the tournament, Anderson had never played the par-71 Old Warson, but the way she played Monday made it look like she knew all the ins and outs.

Something she hopes to maintain today.

“This course plays difficult,” Anderson said. “The fairways are very narrow and it’s scary looking from the tee at the small landing area.

“I don’t know what tomorrow is going to be like, but I have to continue to hit the fairways and sink my putts.”

After a second day of stroke play today, the U.S. Women’s Amateur field will be reduced to 64 players for match play. The first round of match play is scheduled for Wednesday, the second and third rounds will be played Thursday, the quarterfinal matches are Friday, the semifinal matches are Saturday, and the 36-hole championship final will be played Sunday.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 451-5651