Date: August 07, 2019
Author: Mark Hayes

Three Aussies advance in Mississippi

Three Australians have reached the knockout match play phase of the US Women’s Amateur.

Melbourne’s Gabi Ruffels and Sydney pair Doey Choi and Steph Kyriacou all withstood the nerve-wracking 36 holes of stroke play at Old Waverly Golf Club in Mississippi to advance to the final 64 starting tomorrow.

Ruffels was particularly impressive, carding one of the second day’s best rounds – a four-under-par 68 to finish in a share of fifth and just two strokes off joint medallists, China’s Jiarui Jin and American Alexa Pano at six under.

The Victorian, a member at Victoria who plays collegiate golf for the University of Southern California, will take the No.6 seed into the match play phase.

Choi, a member at Concord, was tracking for her own shot at medallist honours today until a totally out-of-character eight on the par-four 18th, her ninth hole.

But the New South Wales state team No.1 regained her composure and her round of 73 included six birdies and left her at even par in total and with the No.27 seed for match play.

Kyriacou, a member at St Michaels who had been teetering after an opening 75, played more consistent golf today and her birdie on the 15th all but ensured her even par day two was enough.

She will take the No.54 seed into the match play phase where she has drawn American Brooke Seay, the young woman who sensationally knocked out Kyriacou’s state teammate Grace Kim out of the recent US Girls’ Amateur in the round of 16 on the 21st hole.

Of the other Australians, Becky Kay was the hard-luck story, left to rue a double-bogey on the 11th on her way to a five over total, just two strokes from advancing after a 73.

Jess Whitting improved markedly on her opening 79 with a second-round 74 to finish at +9, while Amelia Grohn (79-76) was +11 and veteran Sue Wooster (80-80) at +16.