AUGUSTA, Ga. – Virginia golfers Amanda Sambach (Pinehurst, N.C.) and Jennifer Cleary (Wilmington, Del.) opened play at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur on Wednesday. Sambach finished the day tied for 23rd place at 2-over 74 while Cleary was in 52nd position at 5-over 77.

Stanford’s Rose Zhang leads the 72-player field at 6-under 66.

After playing her front nine at 3-over par, Sambach used eight pars and a birdie on her back nine to stay above the cut line that advances the top 30 players to the final round of the competition that takes place Saturday at Augusta National. Cleary stood at 3-over par after 17 holes before a double bogey on the par-5 18th hole ended her day at 5-over par.

The first 36 holes of the championship are being contested at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. The entire field will play Augusta National for an official practice round Friday, March 31.

This is Sambach’s third appearance at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. She also played in the tournament in 2021 and 2022. She failed to make the final round during her previous appearances. This is the first time Cleary has played in the event.

The field for the tournament features 72 of the top women’s amateur players from around the world. Sambach and Cleary qualified  by being among the United States’ top-30 players in the final World Amateur Golf Rankings for 2022.

The first two rounds of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur are broadcast live on Golf Channel (1:30-3:30 p.m. ET) from Champions Retreat Golf Club. NBC Sports will produce and broadcast three hours (Noon-3 p.m. ET) of live final-round coverage of the event at Augusta National. Additionally, Golf Channel’s “Live From the Masters” will commence on Friday, April 1 at Augusta National to provide coverage of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals and the Masters Tournament.

More information, including live scoring, is available