EAGLE, ID (July 19, 2005) -- Angela Park, 16, of Torrance, Calif., shot an 8-under-par 63 to set a new stroke-play qualifying low and take the early lead for medalist honors midway through Tuesday’s second round of stroke play at the 57th U.S. Girls’ Junior, being played at the 6,348-yard, par-71 BanBury Golf Club.
Park’s two-day, 36-hole total of 10-under-par 132 bettered, by a stroke, the previous mark of 133 set by Christina Kim at the 2001 championship.
Chinese Taipei’s Hsiao-Ching Lu, 17, a semifinalist a year ago, finished a stroke back after posting a second-round 5-under 66, while Morgan Pressel, 17, of Boca Raton, Fla., finished two off Park’s sizzling pace.
It’s the second consecutive week Park has earned medalist honors at a USGA event. She was a co-medalist at last week’s U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, where she lost in the second round.
“I’m pretty happy with my round right now,” Park said. “I’m flattered. I guess it paid off, all those long hours of practicing.”
It’s now on to match play for Park, who admits she prefers the stroke-play format.
“I prefer stroke play because in match play, say I am six under and the other girl is seven under, I’m playing a great round and it’s not really fair,” Park said.
Pressel, a co-runner-up at the 2005 U.S. Women’s Open, agreed.
“I guess for a better player it might be a little more difficult because it’s one round,” said Pressel. “You can lay really well but still get beaten on the 18th hole but through a four-day tournament you might not lose to that same person. I guess it depends. Ask me at the end of the week.”
Playing in her sixth U.S. Girls’ Junior, Pressel knows she’s the name to beat in the field.
“I’ve played well and people have seen that and hopefully I continue to play well this week because people are going to be out to get me. Hopefully I can hold on.”
First-round leader Taylore Karle, 15, of Scottsdale, Ariz., who opened with an 8-under-par 63, had an afternoon tee time. In-Bee Park, 17, of Las Vegas, Nev., the 2002 Girls’ Junior winner, will have to match Park’s 8-under-63 in the second round to earn at least a share of medalist honors for the fourth consecutive year.
Among the competitors who should safely advance to match play are 2004 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links champion Ya-Ni Tseng, 17, of Chinese Taipei.
After the second round of stroke play is completed Tuesday, the U.S. Girls’ Junior field will be reduced to 64 players for match play. The first and second rounds of match play are scheduled for Wednesday, the third and quarterfinal rounds will be played Thursday, the semifinal matches are on Friday, and the 18-hole championship final is scheduled for Saturday.