Four boys and three girls from Northern California advanced to the match play portions of the U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Girls’ Junior Championships today. The second day of the respective competitions, running from July 22 to July 27, concluded the stroke play portion of the tournaments.
In the Junior Amateur event, for Under-18 boys, which is being held at Martis Camp in Truckee, Corey Eddings, of Roseville; Daniel Connolly, of San Francisco; Maverick McNealy, of Portola Valley; and Justin Suh, of San Jose won through to the final field of 64 players who will face off in match play over the next five days.
Eddings posted a 1st-round 67, tying for low score on the opening day with Scottie Scheffler, of Dallas, Texas. A 2nd-round 72 dropped Eddings back to T-6, at 139. San Francisco’s Daniel Connolly posted rounds of 72-73 to finish T-18 at 1-over 145. Maverick McNealy, of Portola Valley, made a big jump from the first to the second days of the tournament, dropping nine strokes from Monday to Tuesday, 78 – 69. Putting and short iron work was the key, as he improved his play on the par-3s from +3 to even, and from +5 to -2 on the par-4s. San Jose’s Justin Suh dropped five strokes from Monday to Tuesday, posting scores of 77-72 for a T-45 finish at 149.
At the end of stroke play at Martis Camp this afternoon there were 12 players tied for 57th, requiring a 12-man playoff to settle the final eight spots. Seven players had advanced by the time darkness stopped play. The playoff will resume at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, with the last four players facing off to determine the last to advance to the match play final.
That last advancing player will meet first-seed Jim Liu, 17, of Smithtown, NY, in match play. Liu, only the third player to take multiple medalist honors at the U.S. Junior Amateur, posted rounds of 69 and 67 to close out the stroke play portion of the tournament at 8-under, two strokes clear of the runner-up, Cameron Young, of Scarborough, NY. Matchplay rounds are scheduled to begin Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.
While the boys’ competition was taking place in Truckee today, 1900 miles away, in Fort Wayne Indiana, the young women were contending in the Girls’ Junior Championship at Sycamore Hills Golf Club.
Northern California girls advancing out of stroke play to the match play phase were Kelsey Ulep, of Rocklin; Kathleen Scavo, of Benicia; and Casie Cathrea, of Livermore. Scavo, 15, and Ulep, 17, ended the stroke play portion of the event as two members of a three-way tie for 5th place, at 2-under 142. Cathrea, who was nursing a minor injury today, slipped from a first-round 72 to 9-over 81 today, T-46; an uncharacteristic turn for the 2013 Women’s Porter Cup champion, who also took Low Amateur honors at the U.S. Women’s Open.
The final match play roster for the Girls’ Junior was settled by a 9-for-1 playoff, advancing Abbey Carlson, of Lake Mary, Florida to the last spot in the round of 64. Carlson will meet medalist Bailey Tardy, 16 of Norcross, GA in match play. Tardy posted a pair of 69s to top the stroke play portion of the event by a single stroke over Lilia Khatu Vu, of Fountain Valley, CA. Matchplay rounds get underway Wednesday at 7:30 a.m.