Julia Potter atop Women's Mid-Am

ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Reinstated amateur Julia Potter shot a 2-under 69 on Saturday to open a five-stroke lead after the first round of stroke-play qualifying in the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur.

The 25-year-old left-hander, from Granger, Ind., had three birdies and a bogey at Biltmore Forest Country Club.

"Things were just working well for me today," Potter said. "I can only hope they continue throughout the week."

The top 64 after the second round Sunday will advance to match play in the event limited to players 25 and older.

Potter, an event coordinator who underwent back surgery at age 16 due to scoliosis, is a former University of Missouri player who regained her amateur status last year after two seasons on the Symetra Tour.

"I decided that I just needed to play the course and not try to outplay the course," Potter said. "On those holes where I felt that I could score well, I made sure of it. On those holes I knew were difficult, I didn't go for anything. I was really focused on hitting the fairways, hitting the green and then putting together two solid putts."

Canada's Christina Proteau was second after a 74. The 30-year-old Proteau is a prosecutor for the British Columbia Ministry of Justice.

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