U.S. WOMEN'S AMATEUR FOUR-BALL
Round 2 of Stroke Play: Five Storylines May 28, 2017 | MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. By David Chmiel, USGA

The 14th hole played as the most difficult in the first round of stroke play at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club. (USGA/Russell Kirk)

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The second round of stroke play of the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship got underway Sunday at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C., with 64 sides angling for 32 spots in match play, which begins on Monday. Here are five things to watch on the final stroke-play day.

YOUTHFUL EXUBERANCE Despite having the youngest average age in the field, at 13.5, 12-year-old Izzy Pellot, of Apopka, Fla., and 15-year-old Chloe Schiavone, of Jacksonville, Fla., posted a bogey-free 4-under 68 on Saturday. The precious pair from Florida made three birdies on the outward nine and birdied the challenging par-3 11th on the way in. The teens teed off at 9 a.m. EDT.

THE GOOD FIGHT Barring record-low scores in the second round, they won’t earn a lot of media coverage, but the four competitors who decided to tackle The Dunes Golf & Beach Club on their own deserve kudos from everyone. Megan Carter, a sophomore from Boston University (10 a.m.); Jennifer Cai, 14, of Irvine, Calif., Hannah Berman, 19, of Jacksonville, Fla. (1:12 p.m.), and Yoonju Shin, 16, of Irvine, Calif.(1:20 p.m.) make up a foursome with plenty of heart who accepted the challenge of competing on their own. Cai was the first-round leader among this foursome, posting a 6-over 78. She teed off at 12:24 p.m.

GATORS ON THE BUBBLE Maria Torres and Samantha Wagner, University of Florida standouts capable of deep match-play runs, have their work cut out for them today. As a high-school senior, Wagner earned a spot in the 2015 U.S. Open at Lancaster (Pa.) Country Club also advanced to the match-play rounds of the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur. At the University of Florida, she made the 2016 All-SEC Freshman Team. Torres, who was named to the 2017 WCGA first-team All American, became the 2016 SEC Women’s Golfer of the Year, the first time a member of the team had earned the honor since 1990. The pair, who teed off at 11 a.m., start the day at 1-under par (T28), and will have to go low to protect their place in the match-play field.

TOUGH GOING The 368-yard 14th hole, “Homeward Ho,” presented the most challenges to the field during the first round of play. With the wind blowing in the players’ faces, the par 4 played to an average of 4.5; players posted 30 bogeys and eight double bogeys. With the winds swirling, the inward nine played a half-stroke harder than the outward nine.

ON THE OTHER HAND… Good scores were easier to come by on the 135-yard par-3 fifth hole (13 birdies, 2.9 stroke average) and the par-4 11th (20 birdies, 3.92 stroke average). The par-5 15th was the easiest three-shot hole, yielding 24 birdies, which contributed to the average score of 4.8. The winds continue to blow in from the southwest, so players might be more comfortable with conditions today in the second round.

David Chmiel is the manager of member content for the USGA. Email him at dchmiel@usga.org

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