Neshanic Station, N.J. – Kyung Kim has a 1-up lead over Ashlan Ramsey midway through the scheduled 36-hole final of the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship at the 6,221-yard, par-72 Neshanic Valley Golf Course.
Kim, 18, of Chandler, Ariz., and Ramsey, 16, of Milledgeville, Ga., combined for 11 birdies through the first 18 holes of their match.
After a slow start, the match became everything a match-play final should be. Kim was 1 up after four holes before Ramsey birdied the sixth and seventh and matched Kim’s birdie at the ninth to take a 1-up lead.
That’s when Kim turned on the burners with three straight birds.
After both players birdied the par-5 ninth, Kim made her run, starting with a 40-foot birdie putt on the 10th, to sail into a 2-up lead.
Ramsey and Kim had both declared a strategy of fairways and greens but their encounter took on a more dramatic shape. Rain late on Friday softened the greens a bit and both players were firing at the flagsticks.
Both Kim and Ramsey birdied the par-5 14th hole and the margin remained. When Kim suffered a bogey on the 15th, Ramsey edged closer with a par, putting Kim 1 up.
Most of the birdie putts were in the 12 to 15-foot range. With the usual match-play concessions, Kim was four under par, and Ramsey three under, after a smattering of bogeys.
In recent memory, the most birdies in a 36-hole USGA women’s final came in the 2001 U.S. Women’s Amateur. Meredith Duncan, of Shreveport, La., and Nicole Perrot, of Chile combined for 20 birdies, 10 each, before Duncan won on the 37th hole.
The players will resume the match at 12:25 p.m.
Rhonda Glenn is a manager of communications for the USGA. Email her at email@example.com.