World No.1 Lydia Ko has finished runner-up in qualifying for the US Women’s Amateur at The Country Club in Cleveland, Ohio.
The 15-year-old, who opened with a six under par 66 to lead by two shots after round one, carded a one under par 71 in round two to finish one shot back from Hyo-Joo Kim.
The 16-year-old from Korea claimed the medalist honors with an eight under-par total of 136 at the 5954m,, par-72 course at The Country Club.
Kim teed off on the second nine and birdied five of the first seven holes to turn in 31 strokes. She was one-over-par on holes No. 1 through No. 9.
“I really played well on my first nine, but for the other nine I had a couple of mistakes,” Kim said through an interpreter.
“I made the five birdies because I saw where I should aim it and it was exactly right. My irons were close to the hole.”
Ko, who was co-medalist at the event in 2011, finished at seven-under-par while Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn and the long-hitting 2011 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Alison Lee qualified at five-under-par 139.
Ko struggled with her putter. She hit every green in regulation figures but had 36 putts, seven more than round one, when she fired a round of 66.
“If I’d putted as well as yesterday, I would have been seven or eight strokes better,” Ko said.
She narrowly missed tying for medalist honors when her five-foot birdie putt on the 18th slid over the left edge of the hole.
“I’m not a bad putter, but now and then it happens,” Ko said.
“Last year I was medalist and lost in the second round, so hopefully I’ll go a lot further. I came into this championship and knew I had a chance to win, and many other people do as well.”
The field was cut to the low 64 scorers. The cut came at five-over-par 149, with 15 playing off for four match-play berths.
The 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship consists of 36 holes of stroke play followed by six rounds of match play, with the championship scheduled to conclude with a 36-hole final on Sunday at 8:30 am (local time).
The U.S. Women’s Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
US Women’s Amateur Final Scores from Qualifying from The Country Club Cleveland, Ohio
Par 72 (US unless noted)
136 Hyo-Joo Kim (Korea) 68 68
137 Lydia Ko (New Zealand) 66 71
139 Ariya Jutanugarn (Thailand) 71 68, Alison Lee 68 71
140 Sierra Brooks 72 68
141 Emily Tubert 72 69, Brogan McKinnon (Canada) 73 68, Natalie Gleadall (Canada) 70 71, Alina Ching 70 71, Paula Reto (South Africa) 73 68, Minjee Lee (Australia) 72 69,
142 Kelly Shon 70 72, Lisa McCloskey 72 70
143 Celine Boutier (France) 72 71, Cyna Rodriguez (Philippines) 74 69, Breanna Elliott (Australia) 71 72
144 Nicole Zhang (Canada) 73 71, Brooke Mackenzie Henderson (Canada) 69 75, Ashlee Dewhurst (Australia) 71 73, Lauren Diaz-Yi 72 72, Casey Grice 75 69, Elisabeth Bernabe 72 72, Chirapat Jao-Javanil (Thailand) 72 72, Su-Hyun Oh (Australia) 73 71
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