FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Mariel Galdiano returned a 36-hole total of 3-under 141 and has the early lead for medalist honors at the 2014 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, being conducted at Forest Highlands Golf Club.
Galdiano, 15, of Pearl City, Hawaii, made three birdies to three bogeys for an even-par round on the par-72, 6,718-yard Meadow Course. While not happy with a few mistakes, the two-time U.S. Women’s Open competitor was overall content with her performance.
“I made some good comeback par putts, so that helped keep me together,” said Galdiano, who attends the Punahou School, which counts President Barack Obama and reigning U.S. Women’s Open champion Michelle Wie among its alumna. “I definitely could have shot at least one or two under today.”
Three players sit at 2-under 142: Bethany Wu, 17, of Diamond Bar, Calif.; Kathleen Scavo, 16, of Benicia, Calif.; and Gigi Stoll, 17, of Tigard, Ore.
Wu, who fell in the 2013 Girls’ Junior semifinals to eventual runner-up Lakareber Abe, carded the morning’s low round. Her 4-under 68 included five birdies against one bogey.
“The ultimate goal is to make it to the finals since I missed it last year,” said Wu, who has verbally committed to attend UCLA in the fall of 2015.
Scavo, a qualifier for last month’s U.S. Women’s Open, chipped in from 60 feet for birdie at the par-4 10th hole, her first of the day. It was one of three birdies to go with one bogey en route to a 69.
Stoll opened with a bang, making an eagle at the par-5 fifth hole. It was the first eagle of the championship, and propelled her to 69.
Last week’s U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links runner-up Eun Jeong Seong struggled on Tuesday, making a triple-bogey at the fifth hole and a double bogey at the par-4 16th. Her two-day total of 4-over 148 should be enough to qualify for match play.
First-round leader Angel Yin (6-under 66) and second-place finishers Megan Khang and Jennifer Kupcho (3-under 69) are among 78 players who will tee off in the afternoon wave.
Christina Lance is an assistant manager of communications for the USGA. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.