Led by reigning Daily Times Player of the Year Brynn Walker, a senior at Radnor, Team Pennsylvania is one of four teams tied for ninth following two rounds of the USGA Women’s State Team Championship at Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Friday to easily made the cut to the final day.
Walker, the reigning PIAA Class AAA champion, opened the tournament with a 1-under 71 Thursday and fell back a little with a 4-over 76 Friday. Her 3-over 147 total has her tied for 12th in the individual race.
But this is all about the team. A top-10 finish would certainly be a goal worth shooting for and Team Pennsylvania is right there after two rounds.
Aurora Kan, the three-time Daily Times Player of the Year at Chichester who is coming off a strong career at Purdue, backed Walker up Thursday with a 76 and the 3-over 147 total had Team Pennsylvania in a tie for sixth.
Kan fell back a little with a 78 Friday, but the third member of the team, Ellen Ceresko, who finished off a strong career at Penn State last spring, picked up the team by matching Walker’s 76. That gave Team Pennsylvania a 152 total Friday and its 11-over 299 score for 36 holes left it in a tie for ninth with Minnesota, Indiana, Louisiana and Utah.
Despite backing off from a sizzling opening-round 138, Team Florida broke the 36-hole scoring record with a 145 Friday for a 36-hoel total of 5-under 283. Florida is led by Meghan Stasi, a South Jersey native who is an eight-time Women’s Golf Association of Philadelphia champion and a four-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion. Stasi, who rattled off seven straight Philadelphia Amateur titles from 1999 to 2005 when she was known as Meghan Bolger, has fired a pair of 1-under 71s for a 142 total.
Team Georgia is hot on Florida’s tail at 3-under 285. It’s eight shots back to Alabama, Virginia and New Mexico, which are tied for third at 5-over 193. Michigan and Massachusetts are tied for sixth at 294 and North Carolina is alone at eighth at 8-over 296. It’s another three shots back to Team Pennsylvania and four other states tied for ninth.
The 37-year-old Stasi’s 2-under 142 total has her tied for third in the individual chase with 42-year-old teammate Tara Joy-Connelly, who opened with a brilliant 67 before falling back with a 75 Thursday, and Emilie Meason (69-73) of Georgia. Florida’s second counting score Friday actually came from 16-year-old Kendall Griffin, whose 74 was one better than Joy-Connelly.
Shannon Johnson (71-70) of Massachusetts and Dominque Galloway (69-72) of New Mexico share the lead in the individual chase at 3-under 141.
The 17-year-old Walker, a North Carolina commit, had a pretty crazy opening round, one that featured seven birdies and two double bogeys.
I’m pretty sure she started on the back nine and a double bogey at the par-5 18th had her making the turn at 2-over 38. Walker then birdied the second and third holes, made her second double bogey of the round at the fourth, and then ripped off birdies at the sixth, seventh and ninth holes for a 3-under 33 on the front side at the 6,203-yard, par-72 Dalhousie Golf Club layout.
It looks like Walker might have started on the front nine Friday and made four bogeys to make the turn at 4-over 40. She offset three bogeys on the back with three birdies, though, to match par 36 on the inward nine for her 76.
It looks like the 21-year-old Kan, the 2010 Pennsylvania Women’s Amateur and PIAA champion, started on the back Thursday in inauspicious fashion with a triple-bogey 7. She made three more bogeys and a birdie on the back before a steady one-birdie, eight-par front nine enabled her to go 1-under 35 there and finish with a 76.
Kan had seven bogeys on the card Friday before finishing up with a birdie on the par-5 18th for a 78. Her 10-over 154 total has her tied for 46th in the individual standings.
Ceresko, a two-time Pennsylvania Women’s Amateur champion, opened with an 81 Thursday and her 13-over 157 total has her tied for 62nd.