Linn Grant (Robert Beck/USGA photo)
36 holes down, 36 holes to go.
The 75th U.S. Women’s Open at The Champions Club in Houston, Texas has a bit of a twist as the tournament hits the weekend.
Usually considered non-factors or great storylines that fade by the end of Friday, a handful of amateurs have clear shots at a chance to win the final major of a crazy 2020 golf season.
Leading the way for young guns? Arizona State’s Linn Grant. The Swedish import used two rounds of 2-under 69 to put herself alone in second place as Saturday approaches. A redshirt sophomore for the Sun Devils, Grant put together what can only be described as one of the best freshman campaigns in Arizona State history. Grant kept a spot in the top-10 of the Golfstat individual rankings throughout the 2019-20 season before finishing eighth in the final edition of the rankings. Named as one of 11 WGCA first team All-Americans, Grant picked up her first collegiate win at the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational which she added to four other top-five finishes. The Sun Devil sophomore has previous experience at the U.S. Women's Open with her debut coming back in 2018. Sitting three shots off of Japan’s Hineko Shibuno’s lead, time will tell if Grant can make history.
Trailing Grant is Texas native, Kaitlyn Papp. Papp, a senior at the University of Texas is nipping at the heels of Shibuno as well. Following rounds of 1-under 7 and 2-under 69, the Austin, Texas product is having a week to remember in her home state. The three-time All-American will be paired with Grant and Shibuno in the last grouping on Saturday. Despite no fans allowed, Papp can rest easy knowing that there will be plenty of support from across the Lonestar State as those who will be watching on television can surely find Papp to be a fan favorite this week.
In a tie for fourteenth, we find Grant’s fellow countrywoman, Ingrid Lindblad. The LSU sophomore had quite the fall season on the SEC circuit, finishing towards the front of the leaderboard in all three fall events. Rounds of 72 and 69 gave Lindblad a T-14 placement through two rounds, just six off the lead and three off of the low-amateur lead. She will be paired with Mingyoung Lee and Jodi Ewart Shadoff at 10:29 am CT.
Oklahoma State’s Maja Stark and South Carolina’s Pauline Roussin-Bouchard round out the five amateurs at even par or better through two rounds. Stark and Roussin-Bouchard, much like Lindblad, are coming off of solid fall seasons in their respective conferences. Although seven shots back of the lead, don’t be surprised if one, if not both decide to trade places with those above them on moving day.
The last amateur to make the cut is 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, Gabriela Ruffels. The Aussie star by way of the University of Southern California needed rounds of 71 and 72 to make the weekend. Named to the 2020 Arnold Palmer Cup late last week, the Trojan will team up with Grant, Lindblad, Stark, and Roussin-Bouchard against a Papp-led USA team.
Six of the 24 amateurs in the field this week made the cut. Among those who did not make it inside the +3 cutline:
Amelia Garvey (Southern California/New Zealand) +4; Rose Zhang (Stanford signee/USA) +4; Agathe Laisne (Texas/France) +5; Olivia Mehaffey (Arizona State; Ireland) +7); Auston Kim (Vanderbilt/USA) +7; Beatrice Wallin (Florida State; Sweden) +8; Benedetta Moresco (Alabama; Italy) +9; Caterina Don (Georgia; Italy) +9; Emilia Migliaccio (Wake Forest/USA) +9; Lucie Malchirand (France) +9; Emma Spitz (UCLA/Austria) +10; Lei (Angelina) Ye (Stanford/China) +12; Ho-Yu An (Taipai) +12; Allisen Corpuz (Southern California/USA) +12; Lily May Humphreys (England) +14; Ina Kim-Schaad (2019 Mid-Am champion) +14; Alessia Nobilio (UCLA/Italy) +21; Emily Toy (England) +28.
Coverage of the third round of the U.S. Women’s Open begins at 11:00 am ET on Golf Channel with coverage also on NBC’s free streaming service Peacock at 1:00 pm ET and NBC taking over the broadcast at 2:30 ET.
ABOUT THE U.S. Women's Open
The U.S. Women's Open is the biggest tournament in
women's golf and one of 14 national
championships conducted by the USGA. The
event is open to any female who has a USGA
Handicap Index not exceeding 4.4.
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