Grace Kim has bounced back with a ‘relieving’ even par 72 to advance to the matchplay rounds of the US Women’s Amateur.
The current NSW and Australian Amateur Champion battled hard, with the tough Westchester Country Club layout proving more than a match.
“After yesterday’s round and how windy it was, I’m more than happy with even par.
“This course is rated at 78.6. I finished at four over, and seeing the cut at plus six, it’s hard for everyone,” a satisfied Kim said.
Earlier, Kim started her second round on the bubble at plus four and was well aware of what she needed to do to secure her place in the top 64.
After opening her second round with a steady even-par 36 front nine (holes 10-18), a timely birdie on the first (her 10th) looked like it would be enough to ensure her path into the knockout phase.
However, the fifth hole (Kim’s 14th) looked like her nemesis for the second day straight, with an ill-timed double bogey potentially derailing her efforts.
“I had a three-putt bogey yesterday, then today wow. I hit a good drive, but for my second, the ball was below my feet. It went straight left into a rocky hill, and I took three shots to get it out.
“In the end, I made an up-and-down for a double bogey. Honestly, though, I’ve never been so calm after a double.
“I had it in my mind the cut number was going to be high. I wasn’t panicked. I made birdie two holes later. Subconsciously I knew I was going alright.”
Thankfully for Kim, she held her nerve with pars on the final two holes, ensuring she had plenty of distance between her and the eventual playoff mark, which fell at six-over-par.
“I was a little bit frustrated after yesterday, but Karrie (Webb) messaged me overnight and said one round doesn’t matter; it’s all about making the matchplay.
“In fact, she’s just messaged me then and said good job!” she grinned.
With the matchplay due to begin tomorrow, Kim said her confidence is rising, and she knows what will be required.
“Don’t be greedy, just stay patient,” she grinned. “Just enjoy it and have a good mindest.”
Western Australia’s Madison Hinson-Tolchard and Queensland’s Emily Mahar are the only other Aussies to progress to the matchplay phase.
Tolchard, who is studying at Oklahoma State and who got into the field at the last minute after the medallist at the course she attempted to qualify at withdrew, added a fine one over 73 to her opening even-par 72 to progress in 20th place, while Mahar carded one of the day’s best scores, a two-under 70, to vault into 40th place after being outside the bubble after the opening round.
Belmont’s Makensie Toole and Nambucca Heads Darcy Habgood sadly failed to progress. Toole added a 76 to her opening 78 to finish her maiden #USWomen’sAm at ten over, while Habgood, who is studying at Washington State, also carded a 76 to go with her opening 79 to finish at 11 over.