Sarah Burnham wasn’t feeling it on the range Friday morning at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G. “I just wanted to get off to a good start today but wasn't hitting it well this morning on the range, so I just tried to get myself in a good rhythm.”
The “good rhythm” came quick for the three-year Tour member. Four birdies in her first eight holes, and Burnham sensed the momentum swing in her favor. By the end of the first round, Burnham carded three more birdies and recorded the lowest round of her LPGA Tour career, a 7-under 64. “Kind of felt like [my ball] was just like a magnet to the pin,” said Burnham.
Her previous best 18-hole score came at the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open, where she tied the lowest round of the week with a 66 on day two. It was also the last time Burnham’s parents watched her play close to the ropes, and this week they witnessed another spectacular round from their daughter. “I kind of want to make sure their time is worthwhile out here. Because they don't come a lot, but when they do I want them to enjoy themselves and I don't want to play bad necessarily. But you can't always control that,” said Burnham. “Maybe they are my lucky charm.”
Burnham is working toward retaining her LPGA Tour card, as she is currently No. 132 in the Race to the CME Globe points standings and wants to avoid a visit to LPGA Q-Series in December. With this week in Rogers, Ark. and the ShopRite LPGA Classic ahead of her, she is taking each one shot at a time and knows Friday’s round certainly helped in reaching her goal.
“I think everything happens for a reason,” said Burnham. “It does weigh on me a little bit, but whether I have to go back to Q-School or not, just see how these next four weeks go.”