Shannon Aubert was on fire Tuesday at San Diego Country Club
CHULA VISTA, Calif. (August 8, 2017) -- Shannon Aubert birdied three of the first four holes today at San Diego Country Club, and kept a red hot pace going throughout her second round of qualifying at the U.S. Women's Amateur.
By the time the round was over, she had attracted a following as the scoreboard showed her stroke play total going further and further into the red. While the French player didn't get into double digits, her 36-hole total of 9-under 135 is the second-lowest in U.S. Women's Amateur tournament history.
And San Diego Country Club, home of the legendary LPGA start Mickey Wright, is no pushover. The fast, undulating greens are well-bunkered, and require a deft touch to navigate well. And while there are plenty of rewards for well placed drives and accurate approach shots, there are also plenty of chances to find trouble. Go after a tough pin placement, for example, and a player could find themselves short-sided with no chance to get up-and-down.
Today Aubert started on the back nine, and after that amazing start posted 4-under 32. And that's with a bogey on No. 16, a par-5.
Aubert, who is from France but went to high school in Florida and now calls Championsgate (outside of Orlando) home. Speaking without a hint of a French accent, she said putting was a big part of her success today, and yesterday as well.
"I've been putting well the last two days," she told the USGA. "So if I had a look at birdie, I made it."
After making the turn, Aubert would get three more birdies against just one bogey, on the par-4 7th hole. Her rounds of 69-66 secured her medalist honors. The two round one leaders (Haley Moore and 2014 Women's Am champion Kristen Gillman) were coming off rounds of 67 but had late tee times which tend to mean more ocean breezes that feel good but can make scoring more difficult.
Moore, who advanced to the round-of-16 at the U.S. Girls' Junior twee weeks ago, had three birdies against four bogeys, with the winds gusting to 20 mph making her 1-over par and 4-over tournament total of 140 (T3 with Stephanie Lau of Fullerton, Calif.) a very reasonable qualifying score indeed.
“I knew that there would be bogeys out there with this wind,” said Moore. “I'd tell myself just to stay calm because there's a bunch of holes left. I came back with a birdie [on the par-5 eighth], which probably could have been an eagle, but then just stayed steady after that.”
Gillman posted 5 bogeys in a round of 76 but still easily qualified for match play at 1-under, finishing T11.
At 139, four shots behind Aubert, is Julianne Alvarez of New Zealand. Starting on the back nine, she birdied two of the last three holes on the front nine for a 4-under 68 today.
MATCH PLAY STARTS WEDNESDAY, BIG PLAYOFF FOR LAST SPOTS
Aubert displayed the common sense and experience of a seasoned veteran in her thoughts about heading into match play, likely as the number one seed, on Wednesday.
"Once you get to match play you have to respect all of your competitors and know that it's a whole new tournament," she said.
Whatever the case, Aubert -- an incoming senior at Stanford and fresh off a match play win at the Florida State Women's Amateur in June -- is heading into the match play portion of the U.S. Women's Am with tons of confidence.
An 11-for-8 playoff among women who posted 6-over 150 started at the end of play, but was suspended due to darkness. But not before four players qualified and two were eliminated. Wednesday morning will be tense for the five players left, who will attempt to secure one of the final four spots. The good news is it probably won't take long to settle, the bad news is that someone has to go home.
Among the five is Latanna Stone, who in 2010 was the youngest-ever qualifier for the U.S. Women's Amateur -- at age 10!
ABOUT THE U.S. Women's Amateur
The U.S. Women's Amateur, the third
the USGA championships, was first played
at Meadowbrook Club in Hempstead, N.Y.
event is open to any female amateur who
USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 5.4.
Women's Amateur is one of 14 national
championships conducted annually by the
10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
View Complete Tournament Information