The early morning fog has burned off and Rhode Island Country Club is splashed in sunshine for the start of the second round of match play at the 2011 U.S. Women's Amateur. The golfers could not have more ideal weather, and it should stay this way through Saturday's semifinals. There is a chance for a late shower on Sunday, but we've dodged weather bullets all week.
As for the golf, there are some delicious round-of-32 matchups. How about fourth-seeded Emma Talley, 17, of Princeton, Ky., who is headed to the University of Alabama in 2012, facing defending champion Danielle Kang, 18, of Westlake Village, Calif. Kang, who is turning pro after this championship, is bidding to become the first back-to-back Women's Amateur champion since Kelli Kuehne in 1995-96. The last Women's Amateur held at Rhode Island C.C. saw Kay Cockerill, currently of the Golf Channel, successfully defend her title. She turned pro later that fall.
Lisa McCloskey, 20, of Montgomery, Texas, the 2010 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links champion and a two-time U.S. Women's Open qualifier, meets 16-year-old Korean-born Julie Yang of Mesa, Ariz., who recently won the Women's Trans-Mississippi title. McCloskey had an outstanding Women's Am a year ago, losing to eventual runner-up in a 20-hole third-round thriller.
Co-medalist Lydia Ko, 14, of New Zealand, the world's No. 1-ranked female amateur according to the World Amateur Golf Ranking supported by The R & A and USGA, will be tested against 21-year-old Stephanie Kono of Honolulu, Hawaii, a member of the victorious 2010 USA Curtis Cup Team and a UCLA All-American. She is the oldest remaining player. Her Bruin and 2010 Curtis Cup teammate, Tiffany Lua, 20, of Rowland Heights, Calif., meets Mackenzie Brooke Henderson of Canada. At 13, Henderson is the youngest remaining competitor.
Amy Anderson, 19, of Oxbow, N.D., the 2009 U.S. Girls' Junior champion, meets third-seeded Moriya Jutanugarn, 17, of Thailand, the low amateur at this year's U.S. Women's Open. Anderson was near the top of the leaderboard after the first round of last month's U.S. Women's Open and made the 36-hole cut.
And at the bottom of the bracket, 2011 U.S. Girls' Junior champion Ariya Jutanugarn, 15, of Thailand, faces 20-year-old Duke University standout Lindy Duncan of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who made the cut at this year's U.S. Women's Open and was a Women's Amateur semifinalist five years ago.
As for the age breakdown, half the remaining players (16) are under the age of 18. A total of 23 are teenagers.
Kono is the only golfer who was born before 1990.