As you’ve no doubt noticed, I’ve been on a bit of a sabbatical for a long stretch. I am easing back into this with a take on Ohio State golf; women’s golf, specifically, because students and an alum have been very busy over the past week. I’m going to touch on the LET (Ladies European Tour) that features, as far as we’re concerned, Katja Pogacar. I’ll then swing by the Amateur scene where four Buckeyes qualified for the US Women’s Open. Let’s tee it up…
Ladies European Tour
Katja got things started first by participating in the British Women’s Open held at the Woburn Golf & Country Club just outside London.
Katja opened with a front nine of 35 (-1) and remained at -1 through 17 holes. A double-bogey 6 on the finishing hole got her to the clubhouse at 73 (+1). In her second round, she struggled on the front nine with a 39 (+3). Katja recovered with a well played back nine of 36 (E), but her round of 75 (+3) gave her a two round score of 148 (+4). Unfortunately, the cut line was at 145 (+1) and Katja missed weekend play.
This week, Katja is participating in the Scottish Ladies Open at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland. At the time of this article, Katja has just finished first round play. Katja shot an opening round of 72 (+1). Last year, the cut line was +1, so Katja has a good chance to play the weekend.
U.S. Women’s Amateur
Four matriculating Buckeyes qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur. They were Alex Wright, Aneka Seumanutafa, Skylar Thompson and Alanis Sakuma. This is a pretty big deal. The U.S. Women’s Amateur a top amateur event. The fact that Ohio State had half of it’s team qualify for an event like this is impressive.
Here’s the format. The field of 155 golfers plays two rounds (36 holes) of stroke play competition. The low 64 players advance to the match play portion. The U.S. Women’s Amateur Champion is determined by the winner of match play. The cut line was 147 (+3).
Alex had a tale of two cities in her stroke play. At the end of her first round, she shot 74 (+2) and was in T-45 place. Play went south on her in the second round as her score ballooned to an 83 (+11) and she finished missing the cut with a score +13 to par. On her front nine of the second round, Alex was even par through six holes, then all hell broke loose. She was +8 over the next five holes, which took care of her qualification for match play.
Alanis opened play even par through four holes, then she completely lost her game. Her round of 88 (+16) took the pressure off her second round. And she played pressure-free; her second round score of 73 (+1) was one of the better rounds for players who missed the cut and was fairly competitive for the field. Credit to Alanis for a well played second round.
Skylar missed the cut, but what an effort! She opened with a 72 (E) and was in T-22 after the first round. In her second round, she was 36 (E) at the turn. Her back nine of 40 (+4) gave her a 76 (+4) and she missed the cut by 1 stroke. The heartbreak was the 389 yard par-4 13th hole that Skylar double bogeyed. She played 35 solid holes of golf, but one hole stymied her. The margin for error at this level is very small.
Aneka had rounds of 74 (+2) and 72 (E) to qualify for the match play portion. Her front nine on her second round was pretty choppy – she was +4 through eight holes and looking at an early flight home. Aneka rallied with an eagle 3 on the par-5 9th hole and followed with a back nine of 34 (-2) to slide in the cut line.
In the Round of 64, #53 seed Aneka played #12 seed Julie Houston. Julie went 1-up on the 3rd hole, then Aneka took control of the match by winning four consecutive holes to go 3-up through seven holes. The match was 2-up for Aneka through twelve holes before Aneka won the next two holes to be dormie 4 (4-up 4 holes to play). Aneka and Julie halved the 15th hole, giving Aneka the match 4 & 3. On to the next round.
In the Round of 32, Aneka played #21 seed Angela Liu. Aneka won the 5th and 6th holes to go 2-up and the players made the turn with Aneka holding that margin. Aneka won the 10th hole to go 3-up and held that margin until a birdie on the par-4 14th put her, again, at dormie 4. As before, both players halved the 15th hole and Aneka took the match 4 & 3 to move on to the Round of 16.
In the Round of 16, Aneka played #5 seed Annabell Fuller. Aneka won three of the opening four holes to go 3-up through four. The players made the turn with Aneka holding a 5-up lead and expanded it to 6-up through ten holes. Through eleven holes, Aneka was -3 to par and Annabell was +5 and Aneka had the match pretty well in hand, being 6-up at that point. Then the vagaries of match play came into play. Annabelle played the next 4 holes in -4 to Aneka’s +2 to narrow Aneka’s lead to 2-up with three to play. Fortunately, Aneka won the 16th hole to win the match 3 & 2.
On to Friday’s Quarterfinals where Aneka faces #13 seed Albane Valenzuela. This will be one hell of a match. The match tees off at 7:15 am You do’t want to miss this one.
Over the next few days I’ll post updates on Katja at the Scottish Open and Aneka at the U.S. Amateur. I’ll also follow the exploits of three Buckeyes on the Symetra Tour; Emma Jandel, Rachel Rohanna and Rio Watanabe. The Symetra Tour is in Milwaukee, WI at the PHC Classic this weekend.