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Sunday, July 10, 2016

O'Sullivan makes cut at CordeValle and other Women's Amateur buzz

   As of Monday, the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Rolling Green Golf Club is just 20 days away and the field is starting to take shape with qualifiers still going on around the country.
   Of the 24 amateurs in the field at this weekend’s U.S. Women’s Open at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif., only two, Albane Valenzuela of Switzerland and defending U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Hannah O’Sullivan, made the cut.
   Valenzuela, a Stanford recruit, edged O’Sullivan, who is headed for Southern California, by two shots for low-amateur honors with rounds of 72, 75, 76 and 80 for a 15-over 303 total that left her in a tie for 67th. O’Sullivan also opened with rounds of 72 and 75, struggled to a third-round 82 and finished up with a 76 to finish in a tie for 69th at 305.
   Valenzuela, it appears, will represent Switzerland at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, rather than play at Rolling Green. It also looks as if Ireland’s Leona Maguire, a junior at Duke who missed the cut by a shot at CordeValle, will also head for Rio.
   Valenzuela and Maguire earned Olympic qualifying points by playing in professional events.
I’m pretty sure Maguire would have earned an invite to Rolling Green as a member of the Great Britain & Ireland team that defeated the United States in last month’s Curtis Cup Match in Ireland.
Another amateur who matched Maguire’s 5-over 145 total that was one shot beyond the cut line at CordeValle who is coming to Rolling Green is Southern Cal sophomore Robynn Ree.
   Ree, who teamed with her future USC teammate O’Sullivan to reach the final of the inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Bandon Dunes, punched her ticket to Rolling Green at a qualifier at Friendly Hills Country Club in Whittier, Calif.
   Ree’s Southern Cal teammate Gabriella Then, a senior, was the qualifying medalist at Friendly Hills.
   Speaking of that inaugural U.S. Women’s Four-Ball at Bandon Dunes, Georgia sophomore Rinko Mitsunaga, who teamed with Mika Liu to defeat O’Sullivan and Ree in the final to win the title, earned a spot in the Women’s Amateur in a qualifier at St. Ives Country Club in Johns Creek, Ga.
Mitsunaga teed it up at CordeValle and had rounds of 76 and 78 for a 10-over 154 total.
   I’m pretty sure Liu will also be in the field at Rolling Green as a member of the U.S. team for the Curtis Cup Match.
   Mitsunaga’s George teammate Bailey Tardy, a sophomore, is also a Curtis Cupper. Tardy was in the field at CordeValle and had rounds of 77 and 81 for a 14-over 158 total.
   Sierra Brooks, a Wake Forest commit who was the runnerup to O’Sullivan at last year’s Women’s Amateur at Portland Country Club, had a pair of 80s at CordeValle for a 16-over 160 total.
   O’Sullivan and Brooks were also on the U.S. Curtis Cup team, but were already qualified for Rolling Green as last year’s finalists.
   I tried cross-referencing some of the other amateur competitors at CordeValle with the U.S. Women’s Amateur qualifiers that are in the books and didn’t find any of the other names, but there are still some qualifiers to come.
   I did come across some familiar names from the college scene in perusing the Women’s Amateur qualifiers.
   Stanford senior Casey Danielson was the qualifying medalist at Forest Hills Country Club in Forest Lake, Minn. Northwestern senior Kacie Komoto earned a trip to Rolling Green in the qualifier at Sportsman’s Country Club in Northbrook, Ill. Komoto’s Big Ten rival at Ohio State, senior Jessica Porvasnik was the co-medalist at Walnut Grove Country Club in Dayton, Ohio.
   Arizona senior Jessica Vasilic earned a Women’s Amateur spot in the qualifier at Desert Forest Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. And Oklahoma State junior Maddie McCrary punched her ticket in a qualifier at Mira Vista Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
   Regular readers of T Mac Tees Off have already seen my comprehensive report from the qualifier at Hawk Pointe Golf Club in Washington, N.J. The medalist there was August Kim, the Big Ten champion at Purdue.
   Also in that report I mentioned that Kim’s former Purdue teammate, Aurora Kan, the 2010 PIAA champion as a senior at Chichester, was the medalist at the qualifier at Kenwood Golf & Country Club in Bethesda, Md.

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