Kang opened with a 5-under 67 on the 6,331-yard Dogwood Course at The Country Club of North Carolina and followed that with a round that included four bogeys. Kang, however, wasn’t discouraged with her play.
I had about six shots that just lipped out very slowly, said Kang. It just didn’t roll in as I thought it would, and I missed a few really short putts. I just made little mistakes that I shouldn’t have.
Kang, who is playing in her fourth Girls’ Junior, is no stranger to USGA championships. She earned medalist honors at the 2009 U.S. Women’s Amateur at Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis, Mo., and made the cut at the U.S. Women’s Open at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club two weeks ago. She knows she has to change her approach heading into match play.
I’ll be more aggressive now, said Kang. No more safe plays, no more ‘hit the green and two-putt.’ I have to go at it.
One stroke off Kang’s pace is Ginger Howard, 16, of Bradenton, Fla., who followed up her first-round 70 with an even-par 72 Tuesday. Howard has enjoyed success at CCNC before – in 2008, she won the Trusted Choice Big I Junior Classic at the club.
I feel like I’m playing well right now but I don’t want to get too ahead of myself, said Howard. I’m pretty positive and calm out there, so I think that’s key.
There were two sub-par rounds in the morning wave of the second round. Gyeol Park, 14, of Korea, shot a 3-under 69 and Elisabeth Bernabe, 15, of Anaheim Hills, Calif., recorded a 2-under 70. Both will safely advance to match play, as will 2007 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Kristen Park, 17, of Buena Park, Calif., who followed up her first-round 73 with a 3-over 75.
Megan Khang, 12, of Rockland, Mass., and Summer Roachell, 15, OF Conway, Ark., who were both one stroke off Kang’s lead after the first round, both have afternoon tee times.
After the second round of stroke play concludes Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Girls’ Junior field will be reduced to 64 players for match play. The first round of match play is scheduled for Wednesday, the second and third rounds will be played Thursday, the quarterfinal and semifinal matches will be played Friday, and the 36-hole championship final will be played Saturday.
The U.S. Girls’ Junior is one of 13 championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association each year, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Story written by Beth Murrison, USGA Manager of Championship Communications. For questions or comments, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org .