Oklahomans Son, Milligan shoot 76 in opening round of U.S. Girls Junior Championship

PARAMUS, N.J. – Defending champion Eun Jeong Seong, 16, of the Republic of Korea, fired a 6-under-par 67 Monday to hold a two-stroke lead after the first day of stroke play in the 68th U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship on The Ridgewood Country Club’s 6,406-yard, par-73 composite course.

On a sweltering day that included a weather delay, Seong carded seven birdies, four on her last seven holes, against one bogey.

“I had some good shotmaking today,” said Seong, who is No. 25 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™ (WAGR). “My driver and my irons were good today and I had a lot of short birdie putts. My caddie was a big help.”

A total of 16 sub-par scores were recorded on the same routing that has been used for three Barclay’s PGA Tour Playoff events, most recently in 2014. The 2016 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship consists of 36 holes of stroke play, followed by six rounds of match play, which begin Wednesday (July 20) and conclude with Saturday’s 36-hole championship.

The top 64 after today’s second round of stroke play will advance to match play. Oklahomans Yujeong Son and Kaitlin Milligan, both of Norman, each shot 76 in the first round and are in a group tied for 43rd.

Seong, who was the runner-up in 2014 at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links and a U.S. Women’s Amateur quarterfinalist the same year at age 14, punctuated her round with a 25-foot birdie on the 18th hole.

Those strong previous finishes buoyed her, as she played with poise and embraced her stature as defending champion.

“I like it because there were so many people who said hello and they know me,” said Seong, who advanced to the Round of 16 in the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur. “I had more pressure but it is good pressure. There were so many coaches on the first hole but I was focused. My first aim is to make the [36-hole] cut.”

Aubree Jones, 17, of Covington, Tenn., and Sadie Englemann, 14, of Austin, Texas, posted 4-under-par 69s to trail Seong by two strokes.

“I was making a lot of putts,” said Jones, who advanced to the Round of 32 last year, where she lost to Seong. “It’s a very relieving feeling to know that I don’t probably have to make a lot of birdies tomorrow. But it’s the same game plan as today. If the birdies fall, they do but if they don’t, that’s OK.”

Englemann, a ninth-grade student at West Lake High School in Austin, had a bogey-free round with four birdies, all on her first nine.

“I think that was a definite key,” said Englemann of keeping bogeys off her card. “I parred all the holes on the back nine. I just kept cool and made some good putts. I just lagged them up there on the back and just went real low on the front side.”

Jones and Englemann were followed by Hye-Jin Choi, 16, of the Republic of Korea, Yu Sang Hou, 17, of Chinese Taipei, Alyaa Adbulghany, 17, of Newport Beach, Calif., and Gina Kim, 16, of Chapel Hill, N.C., who posted 3-under 70s.

Choi, No. 15 in the WAGR and the low amateur two weeks ago in the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open, registered five birdies and one bogey. Hou, along with Choi one of four players in the field of 156 who played in the U.S. Women’s Open, did not make a bogey against three birdies. Abdulghany, who will attend the University of Southern California in 2017, tallied six birdies and three bogeys. Kim logged five birdies and two bogeys.

“I think it really helped for this championship,” said Hou of competing in the Women’s Open at CordeValle. “It’s a really good experience, and it taught me to be more focused on every shot, because sometimes I care too much about something else.”

“All parts of my game were really good,” said Abdulghany, who strung together three birdies on Nos. 15-17, making a 6-footer, a 20-footer and an 8-footer, respectively. “I love the golf course – windy conditions, fast greens, it was nice.”

Four other 2015 Girls’ Junior quarterfinalists had rounds of 74 or better: Andrea Lee (2-under, 71) Mika Liu (1-under 72), Jayna Choi (even par, 73) and Annika Cedo (1-over 74)

The three New Jersey hopefuls, Kelly Sim, 16, of Edgewater; Ami Gianchandani, 17, of Short Hills; and Yoona Kim, 14, of Oradell, posted scores of 75, 77 and 84, respectively.

Afternoon play was halted for 1 hour, 20 minutes (3:55 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.).

A total of 16 sub-par scores were recorded on the same routing that has been used for three Barclay’s PGA Tour Playoff events, most recently in 2014.

The 2016 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship consists of 36 holes of stroke play, followed by six rounds of match play, which begin Wednesday (July 20) and conclude with Saturday’s 36-hole championship.

The U.S. Girls’ Junior is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

PARAMUS, N.J.  – Results from Monday’s first round of stroke play in the 2016 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, played at The Ridgewood Country Club’s 6,406-yard, par 36-37-73 composite course.

Eun Jeong Seong, Republic of Korea 34-33–67

Aubree Jones, Covington, Tenn. 35-34–69

Sadie Englemann, Austin, Texas 36-33–69

Alyaa Abdulghany, Newport Beach, Calif. 35-35–70

Gina Kim, Chapel Hill, N.C. 33-37–70

Hye-Jin Choi, Republic of Korea 36-34–70

Yu Sang Hou, Chinese Taipei 35-35–70

Andrea Lee, Hermosa Beach, Calif. 35-36–71

Annie Kim, Windermere, Fla. 36-35–71

Ya Chun Chang, Chinese Taipei 34-37–71

Yuka Saso, Philippines 38-33–71

Celeste Dao, Canada 36-36–72

Conner Beth Ball, Madison, Miss. 37-35–72

Mika Liu, Beverly Hills, Calif. 36-36–72

Anabelle Chang, Walnut, Calif. 37-36–73

Ellie Szeryk, Allen, Texas 35-38–73

Erica Shepherd, Greenwood, Ind. 37-36–73

Hailee Cooper, Montgomery, Texas 38-35–73

Jayna Choi, Collierville, Tenn. 34-39–73

Jennifer Chang, Cary, N.C. 38-35–73

Lucy Li, Redwood Shores, Calif. 35-38–73

Pauline Del Rosario, Philippines 34-39–73

Annika Cedo, Philippines 37-37–74

Beth Lillie, Fullerton, Calif. 37-37–74

Ellie Slama, Salem, Ore. 37-37–74

Emma Bradley, Naples, Fla. 38-36–74

Gabriela Ruffels, Australia 35-39–74

Katherine Muzi, Walnut, Calif. 37-37–74

Lois Kaye Go, Philippines 38-36–74

Paphangkorn Tavatanakit, Thailand 37-37–74

Ty Akabane, Danville, Calif. 35-39–74

Waverly Whiston, San Diego, Calif. 36-38–74

Calista Reyes, San Diego, Calif. 38-37–75

Caroline Wrigley, Wexford, Pa. 37-38–75

Haeley Wotnosky, Wake Forest, N.C. 34-41–75

Holly McCann, Raleigh, N.C. 36-39–75

Jing Wen Lu, People’s Republic of China 35-40–75

Kelly Sim, Edgewater, N.J. 37-38–75

Kyra Cox, South Salem, N.Y. 38-37–75

Lei Ye, People’s Republic of China 38-37–75

Muni He, People’s Republic of China 38-37–75

Sophie (Yixian) Guo, People’s Republic of China 37-38–75

Yealimi Noh, Concord, Calif. 37-38–75

Angela Garvin, Feeding Hills, Mass. 37-39–76

Brianna Navarrosa, San Diego, Calif. 39-37–76

Brooke Sansom, Montgomery, Ala. 38-38–76

Brooke Tyree, Sulphur, La. 37-39–76

Chloe Currie, Canada 38-38–76

Grace St-Germain, Canada 41-35–76

Haley Moore, Escondido, Calif. 38-38–76

Kaitlin Milligan, Norman, Okla. 38-38–76

Malia Nam, Kailua, Hawaii 38-38–76

Maria Loza, Miami, Fla. 41-35–76

Therese Warner, Kennewick, Wash. 36-40–76

Xinying Wang, People’s Republic of China 37-39–76

Youngin Chun, Cedar Park, Texas 39-37–76

Yujeong Son, Republic of Korea 38-38–76

Ami Gianchandani, Short Hills, N.J. 38-39–77

Brooke Seay, San Diego, Calif. 39-38–77

Hannah Lee, Canada 38-39–77

Isabella Fierro, Mexico 38-39–77

Julia Gregg, Farmers Branch, Texas 39-38–77

Katherine Smith, Detroit Lakes, Minn. 37-40–77

Macy Fox, Bee Cave, Texas 37-40–77

Maria Hoyos, Colombia 39-38–77

Abigail Heck, Memphis, Tenn. 38-40–78

Allyson Geer, Brighton, Mich. 38-40–78

Andrea Gomez, Mexico 41-37–78

Aneka Seumanutafa, Emmitsburg, Md. 39-39–78

Ashley Zi-Tong Au, Westerville, Ohio 37-41–78

Belinda Hu, San Ramon, Calif. 42-36–78

Dana Williams, Boca Raton, Fla. 38-40–78

Kayla Sam, Anaheim Hills, Calif. 38-40–78

Mari Nishiura, Mililani, Hawaii 39-39–78

Mikhaela Fortuna, Philippines 36-42–78

Nicole Whiston, San Diego, Calif. 39-39–78

Taylor Black, Warrensburg, Mo. 37-41–78

Yu Chiang Hou, Chinese Taipei 39-39–78

Alexis Miestowski, Schererville, Ind. 41-38–79

Anni Heck, Eagan, Minn. 38-41–79

Ashley Menne, Surprise, Ariz. 39-40–79

Bella Setio, San Marino, Calif. 40-39–79

Casey Ott, Conway, Ark. 39-40–79

Christine Wang, Houston, Texas 40-39–79

Claire Cameron, Martinsville, Ind. 39-40–79

Elizabeth Wang, San Marino, Calif. 41-38–79

Jessica Luo, San Jose, Calif. 38-41–79

Kelly Su, Scottsdale, Ariz. 42-37–79

Kenedee Peters, Ephrata, Wash. 42-37–79

Kory Nielsen, Kent, Ohio 39-40–79

Lindsay May, Auburn, N.Y. 39-40–79

Macy Holliday, Dallas, Texas 41-38–79

Mary Kate Hiller, Vero Beach, Fla. 38-41–79

Megan Furtney, South Elgin, Ill. 38-41–79

Meghan Fahey, Villanova, Pa. 39-40–79

Rachel Kuehn, Asheville, N.C. 40-39–79

Reese Guzman, Kahului, Hawaii 39-40–79

Samantha Yi, San Diego, Calif. 39-40–79

Selina Zeng, Oak Brook, Ill. 41-38–79

Valery Plata, Colombia 41-38–79

Zoe Antoinette Campos, Valencia, Calif. 38-41–79

Anika Veintemilla, Ecuador 40-40–80

Diana Liu, Johns Creek, Ga. 36-44–80

Hsin Yu Lu, Chinese Taipei 42-38–80

Jennie Park, Carrollton, Texas 42-38–80

Julia Dean, Brighton, Mich. 39-41–80

Kailie Vongsaga, Walnut, Calif. 40-40–80

Kendall Griffin, Sebring, Fla. 38-42–80

Madeline Chou, Santa Ana, Calif. 41-39–80

Phoebe Beber-Frankel, Miami, Fla. 40-40–80

Reid Isaac, Montgomery, Texas 40-40–80

Susan Xiao, Canada 42-38–80

Tracy Lee, Republic of Korea 40-40–80

Yang Liu, People’s Republic of China 39-41–80

Yuen Yuet Selina Li, Hong Kong China 42-38–80

Adithi Anand, Redmond, Wash. 41-40–81

Ashni Dhruva, Katy, Texas 43-38–81

Auston Kim, St. Augustine, Fla. 41-40–81

Caroline Caudill, Clarksville, Tenn. 39-42–81

Tiegan Taylor, Canada 40-41–81

Alina Vannarath, Saratoga Springs, Utah 42-40–82

Alisha Lau, Canada 40-42–82

Claire Choi, Honolulu, Hawaii 42-40–82

Elizabeth Win, Sylvania, Ohio 40-42–82

Gracyn Burgess, Lexington, S.C. 45-37–82

Haylin Harris, Carmel, Ind. 40-42–82

Jessica Lee, Oak Brook, Ill. 42-40–82

Katie Stribling, Santa Ana, Calif. 39-43–82

Maria Fernanda Martinez A., Mexico 43-39–82

Navika Kuchakulla, Orlando, Fla. 41-41–82

Riley Rennell, Columbia, Tenn. 37-45–82

Shannon Gould, O’Fallon, Mo. 40-42–82

Tiffany Kang, Suwanee, Ga. 42-40–82

Breyana Matthews, Scottsdale, Ariz. 42-41–83

Kiselya Plewe, Orem, Utah 42-42–84

Sarah Hinton, Elizabethtown, Ky. 41-43–84

Yoona Kim, Oradell, N.J. 46-38–84

Jacquelyn Galloway, Rio Rancho, N.M. 46-39–85

Ramya Meenakshisundaram, Jacksonville, Fla. 44-41–85

Gabrielle Shieh, Carlisle, Mass. 42-44–86

Grace Fitzgerald, Poway, Calif. 44-42–86

Josie Roberson, Maumelle, Ark. 44-42–86

Victoria Gailey, Tigard, Ore. 44-42–86

Britta Snyder, Ames, Iowa 43-44–87

Emily Cox, Lancaster, S.C. 43-44–87

Marisa Marquez, Amarillo, Texas 45-42–87

Megan Ratcliffe, Canada 45-42–87

Phoebe Yue, Canada 42-45–87

Andie Shukow, Boca Raton, Fla. 46-42–88

Brittany Shin, Cape Coral, Fla. 42-46–88

Katy Rutherford, Canada 47-41–88

Lauren Chappell, Charleston, Ill. 41-47–88

Camille Dozois, Lake Oswego, Ore. 45-46–91

Kelly Strickland, Alpharetta, Ga. 46-45–91

Madeline Larouere, O’Fallon, Mo. 48-48–96

Whitney Banz, Salt Lake City, Utah 48-48–96

 

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