Defending champ Jutanugarn medals again
Daly City, CA (Sports Network) - Defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn was the stroke-play medalist for the second year in a row at the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship after shooting a 1-under 71 in the second round Tuesday.
Jutanugarn, a 16-year-old from Thailand, finished 36 holes at Lake Merced Golf Club with a 2-under 142 to beat top-ranked female amateur Lydia Ko of New Zealand by three shots.
The third-ranked female amateur, Jutanugarn headed to match play looking to become just the third player in history to successfully defend her title at this championship.
She made eight birdies and six bogeys through two rounds of stroke play and used her experience from last year, when she also medaled on the way to her title, to comment on what it means.
"Being (the) medalist is good," she said, per the USGA, "but in match play, it's nothing. I just do my best, and everybody's the same. Everybody's tired at the first hole."
Ko had a 1-under 71 to finish at 1-over 145 while Annie Park (71) and Jordan Ferreira (72) shared third place at 2-over 146. Casey Danielson (71) and Marijosse Navarro (72) were the only other players to finish within five strokes of Jutanugarn.
Sixty-four players will compete in match play, which runs from Wednesday to Saturday. There was a 12-way playoff for the last four spots in match play.
The only players to successfully defend their titles at the championship were Judy Eller (1957-58) and Hollis Stacy (1969-71).
07/17 22:22:20 ET