CYNA RODRIGUEZ and Jayvie Agojo escaped with narrow victories to advance to the second round of the US Women’s Amateur Match Play but Dottie Ardina fell by the wayside at The Country Club in Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time).
Rodriguez, the former Philippine Ladies Amateur Open champion, won 1-up over Ani Gulugian of California. The US-based Filipina actually looked headed for a rout at 5-up after 11 holes on two birdies and two pars. But Rodriguez floundered and allowed the American to close within one with a par and three straight birdies from No. 12.
Rodriguez, ranked No. 16 after the 36-hole stroke play eliminations, held on and matched Gulugian’s pars in the last two holes to eke out a 1-up victory and arrange a Last 32 duel with No. 17 Nicole Zhang of Canada, who routed Jaclyn Jansen of Illinois, 6&5.
Agojo also took command of her matchup with Emily Childs of California, posting a 2-up lead after No. 9. But like Rodriguez, she wavered at the back, needing to sink a delicate five-foot par putt on the 18th to snatch the win as Childs holed out with a bogey.
The reigning Hong Kong Amateur Open champion, however, will have her hands full in the second round as she faces No. 8 Natalie Gleadall, also of Canada, who beat Grace Na of California, 2 & 1.
But while Rodriguez and Agojo pulled through, Ardina never recovered from bogey mishaps on Nos. 5, 7 and 9 as she fell to as many as four holes down to Austin Ernst of South Carolina, who went on to fashion out a 4 & 3 romp.
Low medalist Kim Hyo Joo of Korea played true to form and disposed of Megan Kang, 7 & 6, while No. 2 Lydia Ko of New Zealand and No. 3 Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand rolled on with 4 & 3 and 3 & 1 victories over Amy Simanton and Jennifer Yang, respectively.