EUGENE, ORE.--As they begin the match-play portion of the 108th U.S. Women's Amateur Championship today at picturesque Eugene CC, the interesting storyline is not all the intriguing first-round match-ups (although co-medalist Amanda Blumenherst vs. All-American__Lizette Sales__ and Alison Walshe vs.Jaclyn Sweeney, two more All-Americans, should be fun to watch).
Instead, it's the players that saw their tournament end yesterday when they failed to make the cut (eight-over 152) and be among the 64 to advance out of stroke-play qualifying.
Among the surprises:
Kimberly Kim (nine-over 153), the 2006 Women's Amateur champion and a quarterfinalist in last year's event
Mari Chun (155), honorable mention All-American at Stanford
Kathleen Ekey (155), honorable mention All-American at Alabama
Mallory Blackwelder (157), participant at this year's LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship
Meghan Bolger (156), two-time reigning Women's Mid-Amateur champion and 2008 U.S. Curtis Cupper
Maria Jose Uribe (DNP), the defending champion
OK, so it was a little hard for Uribe to make match play considering she wasn't actually in the field, instead having played at last weekend's Women's British Open (she finished T-75). But the others figured to be obvious choices to move on.
As is usually the case with the self-deprecating Kim, she joked that she couldn't have played any worse during her opening-round 82 Monday. "It's like I forgot how to play golf," she said after bouncing back Tuesday with a 71, only to miss the cut by one stroke.
The early exit allowed Kim to go home and get a little rest as she prepare to enter Phoenix's fabled golf powerhouse, Xavier Prep, for her senior year of high school next Monday. As for the college, Kim says she's still not close to making a decision and intends to take official visits this fall. Oklahoma State and Texas are two she says she's likely to look at, and Georgia also appears to be in the picture.
"I just want to go to a school where I can play all the time and hopefully improve my game," Kim said.