Golf: Anika misses out match play spot at US Women’s Amateur Championship

Anika Varma bounced back strongly in the last six holes of her second round but missed out on qualifying for the match play of the US Women’s Amateur Championship, falling short by just one shot.

The second round, delayed to Wednesday due to hurricane on Tuesday, was played in extremely tough conditions and the course was very tight as only seven players were under par after 36 holes.

The Indian teen golfer, Anika, who is based in Sacramento, is the first Indian to play the US Women’s Amateur Championship.

She had a rough first nine on the back stretch of the Woodmont Country Club, as she gave away two bogeys and two doubles after starting from the 10th.

That cost her heavily even though she found three birdies on fourth, fifth and eighth holes against one lone bogey on seventh in the last six holes.

A birdie on ninth, her closing hole, would have got her into a play-off to determine the final spots in match play. She finished at four-over 76 for a total of seven-over 151.

Sixteen players at six-over went into a play-off for six spots as Anika was stranded at seven-over.

Despite not qualifying for the next stage, it was a great experience for Anika as the conditions were very tough and demanding.

Three other players of Indian origin got into the 64 who get to compete in match play. Indian-American Megha Ganne (71-76) was T-26, while Indian origin players South Africa’s Kajal Mistry (81-69) and Gurleen Kaur (78-72) of US, came through the play-off.

Rachel Heck, who made the cut at the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open as a 15-year-old, took the medallist honours as she topped the stroke play section with rounds of 69-71.

Her 36-hole total of 4-under 140 made her one of just seven players to break par in stroke play, the fewest since 2014.