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Teen amateurs shine at Women’s NSW Open

Australian teenage amateurs Belinda Ji and Sarah Hammett are at it again, making their mark on the Ladies European Tour.

Four days after pushing the professionals hard amid top-10 finishes in the Australian Women’s Classic, the pair are back on the leaderboard after the Women’s NSW Open first round.

Ji shot a three-under 69 at Coolangatta and Tweed Heads GC on Thursday to be tied third, one shot behind joint leaders Maja Stark of Sweden and India’s Amandeep Drall.

Fifteen-year-old Hammett carded a 70 for a share of seventh in the co-sanctioned tournament.

Two-time tournament champion Meghan MacLaren of England cooled off after Sunday’s victory in the Australian Women’s Classic, shooting 73 in a round containing four bogeys and an eagle to be tied 26th.

Stark is coming off a fast-finishing second in the Classic at Bonville, where she was one shot behind MacLaren.

Ji shares third spot with England’s Alice Hewson, Scotland’s Michele Thompson and Australian Jordan O’Brien.

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