CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Now that she’s reached the match play round, Jaclyn Sweeney hopes she’s seen the last of the 18th hole at the Charlotte Country Club.
The former Arizona State standout shot her second 3-under 69 to finish in a tie with Rachel Rohanna and Erynne Lee atop the leaderboard at 138 after the completion of stroke play Tuesday at the U.S. Women’s Amateur championship.
Sweeney, of Andover, Mass., missed a 5-foot putt the 18th hole that would made her outright medalist.
“I’d better not make it to the 18th hole in match play, because I cannot hit that fairway to save my life,” said Sweeney, who Friday informed her school of her intent to go pro after this tournament. “I don’t know what it is.
“I made one birdie on the first nine holes, and could easily have had six. I could get the ball closer, I just couldn’t put the ball in the hole. It happens.”
The top 64 players in the field of 156 in this U.S. Golf Association event advanced to match play, which begins Wednesday and concludes with a 36-hole final on Sunday.
Sweeney entered the final hole with the momentum of three birdies in the four previous holes, but missed the putt.
Rohanna, of Waynesburg, Pa., had a 73 after opening with a record-setting 65 the previous day.
“I was shooting for another sub-par round,” said Rohanna, who carded nine birdies in her first round Monday. “With a 65, I just played lights out. I knew it was possible again.”
Lee, of Silverdale, Wash., who reached the semifinals two years ago as a 15-year-old, had a 66 in the second round. After a 72 in the first round, she started with a bogey before recovering to get seven birdies on another hot day in Charlotte.
A month on the East Coast has acclimated Lee to higher temperatures and harsher humidity than her home state. While temperatures hung around the mid 90s in Charlotte on Tuesday, her hometown was cloudy and in the mid 60s.
“I’m usually weak with match play, but I’m ready for this week,” Lee said. “I’m ready to win. I can’t wait for match play. It’s fun.”
Isabel Han of Harrington Park, N.J., scored birdies on two straight holes to beat six others in a playoff for the 64th spot in the field.