Rachel Heck (USGA)
Neither COVID-19 nor Hurricane Isaias could keep the 120th U.S. Women's Amateur from being played. The USGA elected to take Tuesday off to allow Hurricane Isaias to pass as the course took on nearly 3-inches of rain.
Stanford signee Rachel Heck snagged medalist honors following a hurricane-delayed second round at the U.S. Women’s Amateur.
“I slept in super late," Heck told the USGA when asked how she spent the day off. "I ate some food. I took another nap. I ate some more food. That's about how it went. It was pretty nice.”
The day off on Tuesday was a blessing in disguise for AG's No. 2 ranked player in the world and defending champion Gabriela Ruffels (Southern California).
“I actually had two finals," Ruffels said. "I'm taking two summer school classes. It worked out perfect that it was a day off because I could focus on my finals."
With her finals behind her, Ruffels made a run at medalist honors finishing tied for fifth at 1-under.
Heck, who trailed red-hot Rachel Kuehn (Wake Forest) and Riley Smyth (Auburn) by a single shot following Monday’s first round had to wait an extra 24 hours to secure the top-seed and medalist honors at Woodmont Country Club.
As per usual with USGA championships, Woodmont was playing tough. However, when conditions are toughest, a simplistic approach is usually best.
“It’s pretty tight, so we were focusing on hitting fairways, hitting greens, not trying to do anything crazy," said Heck. "That's kind of been my game plan and it’s worked out well so far.”
The Memphis native built upon her opening 3-under 69 with a 1-under 71 as she was able to survive a turbulent 18. Heck posted four bogeys that were canceled out with five birdies throughout the day. Finishing the 36-hole stroke play portion at 4-under, Heck grabs the No. 1 overall seed as the event flips the page to match play.
Both Kuehn and Smyth carded rounds over par while still maintaining top-10 finishes, easily making match play.
Speaking of match play, the field was cut from 132 to 64 to set the bracket that will lead to a champion being crowned on Sunday in a 36-hole marathon. AG No. 1 Emilia Migliaccio (Wake Forest) flirted with medalist honors as well coming up two-shots short of Heck at 2-under.
A record-tying 15-player playoff settled the final six spots of the 64-player bracket as 15 players came in on the 6-over cut line (2015; 16 for 10). Needing just two holes to sort out the qualifiers, the field is officially set for match play. The field will be cut in half to 32 on Thursday.
Playoff qualifiers: Kajal Mistry (Arkansas); Haylin Harris (Michigan State); Gurleen Kaur (Baylor); Therese Warner (Arizona); Auston Kim (Vanderbilt); Katherine Zhu (Pepperdine)
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.
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