USGA WOMEN'S STATE TEAM
5 Things to Watch: Round 2 September 27, 2017 | SANTA FE, N.M. By David Chmiel, USGA

The Santa Fe skies were picturesque during most of Round 1, but that could change going forward at Las Campanas. (USGA/Steven Gibbons)

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One round of the 12th and final USGA Women’s State Team Championship at The Club at Las Campanas in Santa Fe, N.M., is in the books. This is only the second USGA championship in New Mexico, joining the 1999 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links at Santa Ana Golf Club in Santa Ana Pueblo.

The Women’s State Team is a 54-hole stroke-play event, with three-player teams playing 18 holes of stroke play on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The top two scores count toward the team score and there is a 36-hole cut to the low 21 teams, including ties. Any individual whose team missed the cut but is within five strokes of the individual lead.

Here are five things to watch in Round 2.

New York State of Mind: New York goes into Round 2 at the top of the leader board, thanks to a pair of 1-under 71s from Ina Kim and Marianna Monaco. Kim, of New York, had seven birdies, a bogey and two double bogeys, while Monaco, of Yonkers, had three birdies and two bogeys. The pair hope they can make their three-stroke lead hold up over second-place Arizona and the rest of the field.

The Life of Riley: Tennessee’s Riley Rennell, a 19-year-old from Columbia, had the round of the day on Tuesday, shooting a 4-under 68, featuring seven birdies, a bogey and a double bogey.

“It's a fun course,” she said. “I really love it. With the altitude, it really affects the driving lines you want to take off the tee. I need to figure out a few things with my irons, though. I haven't hit my irons well for a while, but I drove it well and putted well, so I can't really complain.”

She led her teammates, Ashley Gilliam (78) and Jayna Choi (79), into a tie for third with Florida and North Carolina.

Weather, or Not: The Sunrise Course at The Club at Las Campanas lived up to its billing Tuesday, with billowy white clouds dotting the bright blue sky. But the breeze stiffened during the afternoon round, with weather reports threatening thunderstorms and temperatures not expected to top 60 degrees over the final two rounds. That weather could make an impact on scoring – and shopping – for any competitors who didn’t pack foul-weather gear.

Small but Mighty: This may be the high desert, but a pair of watery par 3s made par feel like a mirage. Statistically, the 163-yard 12th and the 140-yard fourth were the most challenging holes, playing nearly one full stroke over par. The 12th yielded only two birdies, but played to an average of 3.81, just nosing out the risk-reward eighth hole, where 12 birdies were offset by 16 “others”.

On the Other Hand: There were a lot of red numbers on the Sunrise Course’s par 5s, which gave up 74 birdies. The downhill, reachable sixth hole yielded 28 birdies. Thirteen-year-old Alexa Pano, the youngest competitor in the field, made the only eagle of the day, on the 538-yard 15th hole.

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

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