Despite rough ending, Tardy medals at Girls' Junior

Bailey Tardy during the 2013 U.S. Girls Junior.

Bailey Tardy during the 2013 U.S. Girls Junior.

Girls Rankings »

#NameYearStateRating
1Nicole Morales2014NY69.24
2Andrea Lee2016CA69.72
3Bethany Wu2015CA69.74
4Megan Khang2015MA69.92
5Lilia Vu2015CA70.44

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Not long after capping a second-round 69, which tied for the lowest score of the day, Bailey Tardy left Sycamore Hills Golf Club for some rest. U.S. Golf Association championships can be grueling, and Tardy will need that time with her feet up.

When she left Tuesday, Tardy, a University of Georgia commit from Norcross, Ga., was not convinced her 6-under 138 would hold for the medalist honor.

“That’s not going to stay for long,” she said after her round, but no other player who came in amid windy afternoon conditions could catch her.

Tardy, 16, might show up Wednesday more determined because of that round, which quickly went from a potential 66 to a 69. She stood on the No. 8 tee, her 17th hole, 6 under for the day. A bogey there and a double at the ninth bumped her back to 3 under for the day.

Now the attention shifts to match play, a format in which Tardy does not have much experience. After making the stroke-play cut at this tournament a year ago, Tardy lost her first match to Marijosse Navarro. This year, she hopes to advance farther, her eye on winning her first and second matches. She will reassess at that point.

“After that it’s going to be, like, wow,” she said.

Fresh from the AJGA Wyndham Cup, played last week at The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe near San Diego, Tardy has match play at the front of her mind. She ended the week by halving her singles match against Kathleen Scavo.

Lilia Vu will be just below Tardy on the match-play bracket. Vu closed in 71 to reach 5-under 139, one stroke behind Tardy.

Vu, 15, had the bad luck to play in Monday-morning rain and Tuesday-afternoon wind, but made the most of it with her short game.

“I kept missing greens on the front nine, and I would have to work for par,” Vu said of her second-round play. Vu, a member of the Class of 2015 who has yet to decide on a college, said she’s getting better at reading greens, which has affected her scores.

Like Tardy, the Wyndham Cup is fresh on Vu’s mind (she played for the winning West team), and won her singles match over Shawn Rennergarbe, 6 and 5. Part of that success came from a tip she got during the Wyndham Cup: every hole is a new match.

With that strategy in mind, Vu could be dangerous again this week.

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