Lunke's 3-over par 74 Friday just got her under the cut line, but nine shots back of leader Jennifer Rosales.
If you're defending champion you kind of want to save face and have a somewhat decent performance the following year, Lunke said. Plus, I know that open courses suit me and if I have a couple good rounds on the weekend I could have a real good finish. So I definitely wanted to be in it (Saturday).
Lunke's fanbase has grown throughout her yearlong reign following her first and only title. Before leaving the course, Lunke patiently signed banners and caps for fans. That part of her title is something she savors.
Winning the Open is about a lot more than just about yourself and your own career, she said. It gets a lot of people playing golf and out here watching the LPGA. And it helps me see things in the bigger perspective for sure.
HIGHS AND LOWS
Amateur Brittany Lincicome failed to duplicate her first-round magic.
The 18-year-old was sky-high after taking the first-round lead after a U.S. Women's Open record-tying 5-under 66.
But Friday her putter failed, and so did her smile, as she slogged through the round with six birdies for a 77, dropping to 1 over for the tournament. Her fame, although fleeting, was also tiring.
I tried to be as normal as possible, when I came here this morning, but maybe it got to me more than I thought, Lincicome said. I couldn't get back and be all happy and cheerful like I was yesterday. I play better if I'm smiling and happy.
But she is happy to make the cut.
I made the weekend and that's what I was trying to do, she said.
The four amateurs remaining in the Open field will try to snap a 37-year drought. Catherine Lacoste was the last amateur to win the title with her victory in 1967.
This year's crop of amateurs are also among the youngest. Michelle Wie (14), Paula Creamer (17) are four strokes off the lead. Brittany Lincicome (18) is six back and Jennie Lee (17) is in a group of 12 with veterans Grace Park, Lorie Kane and Sherri Steinhaur eight strokes back.
Creamer nearly became the first amateur to win an LPGA Tour event in 35 years when she finished one stroke off the lead at the ShopRite Classic on June 20. After two days at the Orchards, she's getting a good feel for the 6,473-yard course.
You've just got to hit fairways and middle of the greens, Creamer said. It all comes down to a putting contest.
The cut was made as 5-over par 147 after two rounds, leaving 66 players to chase the title this weekend. Among the notables missing the cut were Brandie Burton, Betsy King and last year's runner-up Angela Stanford.
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