Maddison Hinson-Tolchard responds today to a rare missed birdie chance on the ninth hole. Photo: USGA
There was no sign of what awaited us when Maddison Hinson-Tolchard started her second round of the American Girls & Amateur today very shaky.
But four hours – and a "stupid" spin – later the young Western Australian earned a special place in the history of SentryWorld Golf Club in Wisconsin.
Not to mention the second seed because the field will play in a knockout match tomorrow.
The Gosnells member will be accompanied by fellow countryman Grace Kim, who also played well on the second day of a strokeplay to get a share of the 12th among the 64 who moved.
But as encouraging as Kim's 71 was, it was the heroism of her Perth partner that made the tournament roar.
Hinson-Tolchard, the Australian junior champion of 2018, started in an extremely nervous way, but recovered with the shine of a seasoned professional to chart an extraordinary 65.
Her seven-under-par round wasn't just enough to make her jump on the leaderboard past all bar Yuka Saso, it corresponded to the young Filipino star round from a day earlier as a joint course record.
"I can't believe it, but they're going to hang plaques for Yuka and I at the club to honor the course record … that's so cool," beamed Hinson-Tolchard.
And to think, it was perhaps a few nervous blows away from not happening at all.
"MHT" sent her opening tee-shot in a fairway bunker, from which she "just out of" flubbed "still 40m short of the green. She" blew the third through the green "and remained absolutely stunned when she hit a huge putt dropped out of the pony to save an extraordinary par.
She then cut her tee shot on the second within 1 m of a very wide penalty area and was forced to play her second over a row of trees.
But when that shot sailed and seeped perfectly to make a short birdie-putt possible, the locks opened.
Hinson-Tolchard, who reached the match in this event last year, almost drilled her tee-shot on the 136m par-three third.
"It was immediately in a two-club breeze, so I hit a small 6-iron punch and it landed 3m short and slipped out to a foot," she said.
"After that it was just great.
"I just had a very good day on the green and I sank a lot of putts, well, everywhere, really.
"It became almost stupid at some point.
"It was just crazy, I couldn't miss it."
The longest putt of the green was a 25-footer curling and downhill on the 17th, the last of her seven birds to capture her best tournament round.
Hinson-Tolchard, already a staple in the WA senior team, once fired a round of nine in a club competition in Gosnells.
"But I think this was better than the one at" Gossy "! That putt was actually typical of my day. I hit it too fast, but it just went right in the middle.
"I'm still astonished to be honest. I have the biggest smile on my face."
Hinson-Tolchard said her goal was to qualify in the top 20 seeds, but she is now resetting her ambitions for the week.
"I think I have a good chance this year and I have faith in my game, which is a great feeling."
For the second consecutive day, Sydneysider Kim had both a double bogey and an eagle in a roller coaster round.
But the two Aussie youths march happily in the knockout phase where Saso starts hot favorite after adding a second round 67 to her opening 65 to win the medal at 12 under.