It was a struggle for the Irish pair of Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow as the women’s golf tournament got under way at the Olympic Golf Course, writes Daragh Ó Conchúir.
Maguire shot a three over par 74 to lie tied for 45th position, eight shots behind the brilliant Korean Inbee Park.
Meadow is four shots further back in a tie for 54th.
The prodigious Maguire had hoped to contend well in her last tournament before turning professional and chasing a potentially lucrative LPGA card at the Tour School in October.
She and twin sister Lisa became the youngest players to compete in the Curtis Cup as 15-year-olds in 2010 but Leona eschewed the professional route and chose to further her studies at Duke University.
By doing so, the Cavan native has lost out on more than €100,000 in prize-money as she recorded some excellent finishes in professional tournaments but the expectation is that she will make up for that in the coming years.
The 21-year-old had an early rise as part of the first group to tee off and got off to the perfect start with a birdie at the opening par 5 but it was a struggle from that point on.
She gave the shot back immediately at the next and another bogey at the sixth saw her turn in a one-over-par 36.
Matters got worse with a double-bogey at the par five 10th and another bogey on the 15th before a birdie at the 16th offered a much needed salve to her wounds.
Meadow, whose family left Northern Ireland 10 years ago to further her potential as a golfer, has not managed to build on her third-place finish in the Women’s US Open in 2014 – her professional debut.
The 24-year-old was keen to create an impression but had a very nervous start, dropping shots at the first two holes.
A birdie on the fifth hole helped steady things down but the back nine proved extremely forgettable with a double bogey and three further bogeys contributing to an inward score of 41, and a cumulative total of 77.
That leaves Meadow playing for prid but Maguire could possibly remain in the race for a medal if she were to get back to par at worst, and ideally hit the third round on a positive mark.