RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (Mar. 30, 2012) – After the first two rounds of the 2012 Kraft Nabisco Championship under calm, warm conditions, four of the six amateurs in the field made the cut and will play on the weekend. The cut, which is the top 70 and ties, fell at 148, 4-over par at the par 72 Mission Hills Country Club.
Ariya Jutanugarn, 16, of Thailand, who leads the women’s and girl’s rankings, was the low amateur to make the cut and sits tied for 33rd at even par 144 (71-73.) The reigning U.S. Girls' champion was also the low amateur at last year’s Kraft Nabisco.
Jutanugarn's 17-year old sister Moriya, number two in both rankings, wasn’t as lucky. With an opening round 77 she followed with a 74 today finishing up at 151, tied for 95th, three strokes over the cut line. We’ll see if Moriya will caddy for her younger sister on the weekend.
Austin Ernst, one of eight American amateurs who will compete in the Curtis Cup in Scotland in June, shot a 3-over-par 147 (77-70) to finish tied for 59th. Ernst, 19, currently ranked 6th in the women’s rankings is a sophomore at Louisiana State University and is the reigning NCAA Women’s Champion.
Jay Marie Green, the 18-year old from Boca Raton, Florida finished up at 148 shooting 71, 77. Green, currently ranked #5 in the girls’ rankings and #4 in the women’s rankings, won the Sally last year and was runner-up at the Jones-Doherty this year.
Green finished up right on the cut line along with England’s Charley Hull who also shot 148 with rounds of 71, 77. After a lot of controversy over her decision to play in this tournament and forgo the Curtis Cup, Hull, 16 and the number one ranked junior in Europe, found out Wednesday that the English Golf Union changed their mind and she made the G B& I team after all.
Local player Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif. made her way to the Kraft Nabisco by beating 17 of the top junior golfers in Southern California at the Legacy Junior Challenge on Tuesday with a 4-under-par 68. However the 17-year old finished up her week tied for 112 after shooting 155 with rounds of 79 and 76.
The amateurs who made the cut should be commended for their fine play as they finished ahead of several top LPGA players and a few past champions. The four players will leave the desert with at least 600 points toward the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com women’s player rankings. But to get the 800 low amateur ranking points, they will battle not only each other and the pros, but also a change in the weather as another storm approaches the California coast tomorrow bringing high winds to the desert.