World No.1 amateur Lydia Ko has qualified as the No.2 seed for the US Girl’s Junior Championship at the Lake Merced Golf Club in California.
The 15-year-old carded a one under par 71 in round two to finish runner-up to Ariya Jutanugarn by three shots.
The Thai golfer shot consecutive rounds of 71 for a two under par total to claim the position of number one seed.
Ko, who was low amateur at the U.S. Women’s Open nine days ago, had her hands full early, opening with double bogey-bogey on the inward nine.
However, a 30-foot birdie putt at the par-3 12th, her first of the championship, came at just the right time.
“The first couple of holes, my drives were going everywhere,” said Ko, who won the 2012 New South Wales Open, a professional event, earlier this year as well as the Australian Amateur.
“But then on 12 I had my first birdie of the tournament and on 13 I had a good drive down there, so I think I got my confidence back.
“I think my putting got better then and the confidence started to rise because I was putting good at the [U.S. Women’s] Open and I was kind of shocked after yesterday.”
Jutanugarn assembled two steady rounds of 71 featuring four birdies and three bogeys each to easily earn one of the 64 available spots for Wednesday’s opening match-play round. However, the 16-year-old from Thailand did
point to some faults in her game.
“It wasn’t easy,” said Jutanugarn, the 2012 Women’s Western Amateur champion.
“My driver was not very good today, but my putter was better. I made long putts two times and some short putts two or three times.”
Jutanugarn also earned medalist honors at the 2011 Girls’ Junior conducted at Olympic Fields C.C. outside Chicago, a fact that she takes with a grain of salt.
“Being medalist is good, but in match play, it’s nothing,” said Jutanugarn.
“I just do my best, and everybody’s the same. Everybody’s tied at the first hole.”
The 156-player field has been trimmed to 64 players for match play, which begins on Thursday (NZ time) and concludes with the 36-hole final on Saturday.
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