Defending champ Jutanugarn leads at Lake Merced
DALY CITY, Calif – After Day 1 at Lake Merced Golf Club, only Ariya Jutanugarn is under par. That shouldn’t come as a surprise. Jutanugarn is the defending champion this week at the U.S. Girls' Junior.
Jutanugarn, Golfweek’s top-ranked junior girl, had four birdies and three bogeys on a day when a field of 156 players averaged just over 81 strokes. She called her putting her saving grace.
“Everything today was so good for me but I missed [putts from] 4 feet like three times,” said the 16-year-old Thai. “I have to work more on my putter. My drives were so good, my approach shots are still good, but I missed a lot of short putts.”
In addition to winning last year’s Girls’ Junior at Olympia Fields Country Club (and earning medalist honors in stroke play), Jutanugarn also took medalist honors at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links in 2010.
Brogan McKinnon of Canada was the next closest pursuer on Monday with an even-par 72. Kathleen Gallagher of Greenwood Mississippi was solo third at 1over 73, while five players – including Lydia Ko, the top-ranked female in the World Amateur Golf Rankings – were tied for fourth at 2 over.
Information from the USGA used in this report