Na Blumenherst lead qualifiers at Womens Am

By Usga News ServicesAugust 6, 2008, 4:00 pm
USGAEUGENE, Ore. ' Amanda Blumenherst and Stephanie Na both finished at 4-under 140 to share medalist honors following at the U.S. Womens Amateur Championship at Eugene Country Club.
 
Blumenherst, 22, followed her first-round 6-under 66 with a 2-over 74. The three-time NCAA Player of the Year from Duke ran into trouble with consecutive double bogeys on the 10th and 11th holes, but wasnt discouraged by the round.
 
I actually played well, I just had basically a train wreck on three holes, said Blumenherst, runner-up to Maria Jose Uribe last year. I really didnt have any bogeys except for the doubles, so thats going to put you back a few. I fought back, which is great, but a few things could have gone a little better.
 
For Na, 19, who has spent seven weeks in North America playing in events, perhaps the toughest part was making it through her sectional qualifier in Georgia last month, when she shot 72 to earn the last qualifying spot.
 
I was really nervous for the whole week and a half leading up to it, said Na, the reigning Australian Stroke Play champion. I have never really had to qualify to play in an event and if I hadnt qualified it would have cut my trip short. It was really relieving when I qualified.
 
She has made the most of her chance thus far, following up her first-round 3-under 69 with a 1-under 71 to earn a share of medalist honors in her first USGA event.
 
Na came into Eugene after a disappointing week at the Canadian Amateur that included a final-round 84.
 
The last day I completely fell apart, Na said. Nothing was working for me. It was hard to get my confidence back. But I took that score out of me and it was good to get it out. I guess I just worked on a few things to get a few things back in line.
 
One stroke off the pace was 22-year-old Canadian Kira Meixner, who followed up an even-par 72 with a 3-under 69. Another Canadian, 21-year-old Stephanie Sherlock, finished two strokes back, as did Whitney Neuhauser, 20, of Barboursville, Va.
 
Two golfers who have already won USGA championships this year kept their hopes alive of becoming the seventh golfer in history to win two USGA titles in the same season. Alexis Thompson, 13, who won the Girls Junior a week ago, shot a 1-under 71 to finish at 147, and Tiffany Joh, 21, who won her second U.S. Womens Amateur Public Links title in June, followed up her opening 74 with a 2-under 70 to advance.
 
One past champion was not so fortunate. Kimberly Kim, 16, came back from her opening 82 with a 1-under 71, but missed the cut by one stroke. Kims victory in 2006, at age 14, made her the youngest Womens Amateur champion in history.
 
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