The Philadelphia Section PGA’s two representatives at the Girls Junior PGA Championship, Agnes Irwin senior Kaitlyn Lees of Bryn Mawr and Tower Hill’s Jennifer Cleary of Wilmington, Del., made the cut that fell after the completion of the second round Wednesday.
Lees and Cleary are in a large group of players tied for 33rd at 1-over 145. Another player out of Wilmington, Phoebe Brinker, is also tied for 33rd.
Lees, a two-time Inter-Ac League champion, added a 2-over-par 74 over the Country Club of St. Albans’ Lewis & Clark Course in St. Albans, Mo. to her opening-round 71. Cleary opened with a 2-under 70 and added a 75 Wednesday. Brinker matched Lees’ scores of 71 and 74.
Lauren Freyvogel, who finished fourth in the PIAA Class AAA Championship as a sophomore at Pine Richland last fall, also made the cut. She had a pair of 73s for a 146 total that left her tied for 44th.
Rylie Heflin, who claimed the Pennsylvania Junior Girls’ crown last month at Hershey Country Club by a shot over Cleary and Freyvogel, missed the cut by a shot. Heflin added a 77 to her opening-round 74 for a 151 total.
In her opening round, Lees had five birdies to offset a pair of bogeys and a double bogey to get in under par. She had three more birdies in Wednesday’s second round again a pair of bogeys and a triple bogey on the par-4 10th hole.
Three players are tied at the top at 10-under 134 at the halfway point of the 72-hole tournament.
Rose Zhang of Irvine, Calif. had the day’s best round, a 7-under 65, after opening with a 69. Yealimi Noh of Concord, Calif. added a 68 to her opening-round 66.
Hailee Cooper of Montgomery, Texas opened with a scintillating 8-under 64, but fell back with a 2-under 70. Cooper knocked off a pair of U.S. Curtis Cuppers in Bailey Tardy and Mika Liu to reach the round of 16 in last summer’s U.S. Women’s Amateur at Rolling Green Golf Club before falling to Yuka Saso of the Philippines.
The local boys who teed it up at the U.S. Junior Amateur, Spring-Ford senior Ben Pochet and Jake Calamaro, who helped Radnor capture the 2015 PIAA Class AAA team championship as a freshman, failed to advance to match play after two rounds of qualifying at the Flint Hills National Golf Club in Andover, Kan.
Pochet, coming off a victory in the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Christman Cup at Stonewall’s North Course Thursday, had rounds of 77 and 81 over the 7,049-yard, par-71 Flint Hills layout. Ten players were involved in a playoff for the last spot in match play after finishing tied at 6-over 148.
Calamaro could never get it going at Flint Hills as he opened with an 89 before bouncing back with a 78 for a 167 total. Rumor had it while waiting out a rain delay at the Christman Cup that the Calamaro family is moving to Atlanta and Radnor will be losing one of its top players in Jake.
Doug Ergood of Mount Laurel, N.J. was also at Flint Hills, which explains why he was a no-show for our group at the Christman Cup. He opened with a solid 74, but fell back with an 81 for a 155 total and also failed to advance to match play.
One of the players who advanced out the local qualifier at Makefield Highlands Golf Club, David Morgan of Naples, Fla., did make match play with a pair of 73s for a 146 total. He fell, 3 and 1, to Mac Meissner of San Antonio, Texas in a first-round match Wednesday.
Austin Eckroat, the qualifying medalist out of Edmond, Okla., advanced Wednesday with a 5 and 3 victory over Skyler Eubank of Meridan, Idaho, the survivor of that 10-for-1 playoff for the last spot in match play. Eckroat had a pair of 66s for a spectacular 10-under 132 total in qualifying.
The other opening-round match of note saw defending champion Min Woo Lee of Australia bow out with a 2 and 1 loss at the hands of Noah Norton of Chico, Calif.