Lebanon, Ohio (July 14, 2005) – Stroke-play medalist Anthony Kim of La Quinta, Calif., made six birdies in an eight-hole stretch (eight overall) en route to a 4-and-3 second-round victory Thursday morning over Judd Easterling of Dixon, Mo., at the 2005 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship being held at the 6,966-yard, par-70 Shaker Run Golf Club.
Michelle Wie, 15, of Honolulu, Hawaii, the first female to qualify for a USGA men’s championship, won six of her first seven holes in a 6-and-5 win over C.D. Hockersmith of Richmond, Ind.
The 20-year-old Kim, a first-team NCAA Division I All-American this past season at the University of Oklahoma fell behind by three holes after a bogey at the par-4 sixth. But after winning seven with a par, Kim heated up on the greens with birdies at eight, nine, 11 (halved), 12, 14 and 15 to close out the match.
“I struggled a little early and then found a little rhythm and started making a couple of putts,” said Kim, who advanced past the second round of a USGA event for the first time in seven competitions. “I feel like my swing is starting to come around and I’m seeing the line better with my putts. The rust is kind of wearing off and I’m hoping it keeps improving.”
Wie had little trouble against Ball State junior-to-be Hockersmith. She converted birdies on her first two holes and shot the equivalent of three under par over 13 holes with the usual match-play concessions. She will take on Jim Renner of Plainville, Mass., in the third round Thursday. Renner won the NAIA national title this past season for Johnson & Wales University.
“I knew coming in that she was a great player,” said Hockersmith, who has been making the 60-minute drive back to Richmond in order to take a night statistics class for school. “I just wish I could have performed a little better.”
Scott Aker of Springfield, Ohio, the last remaining local competitor in the championship, lost to Matt Savage of Louisville, Ky., 3 and 2. Aker enjoyed plenty of support his week with friends and family donning “Aker’s Army” t-shirts. Savage, an 18-year-old who will attend Florida State in the fall, put the match away with birdies at 13 and 14.
Roger Welch of Benedict, Md., the competitor who eliminated 1999 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Danny Green in Wednesday’s first round, was ousted by Korey Mahoney of East Lansing, Mich., 5 and 3. Mahoney, a senior-to-be at Eastern Michigan, qualified for the NCAA Division I Championships as an individual this past May.