Three Southern Californians are within striking distance of winning the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur when the tournament moves to America’s most iconic golf course Saturday.
After shooting three-over-par 75 in the second round Thursday at Champions Retreat Golf Club, 16-year-old Zoe Campos of Valencia was in seventh place, four strokes off the lead of the top-ranked amateur in the world, Jennifer Kupcho, who shot 71 and stands at five under.
FIfteen-year-old Rose Zhang (72) of Irvine was a in a tie for eighth place at even par, along with 20-year-old Haley Moore of Escondido, who bogeyed her last two holes to shoot 73.
The top 30 from the first 36 holes qualified to be the first women to compete in an official tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on Saturday. All 72 players in the field will play a practice round on the course Friday.
Alessia Nobilo, a UCLA commit from Italy, was the one player eliminated when she bogeyed the second extra hole.
Kupcho, a 21-year-old senior at Wake Forest, followed her 68 with a 71. She got to seven under for the tournament, but bogeyed two of her last five holes. One stroke behind at four under, after shooting 70, is Maria Fassi, 21, a native of Pachuca, Mexico, and senior at Arkansas. Fassi birdied two of her last three holes.
Moore, a senior at the University of Arizona who is turning pro this summer, was thrilled to know she’ll be playing Saturday.
“It’s definitely pretty awesome just because no matter where the top 30 finish, it’s history being made,” Moore said. “Just to be able to go walk Augusta two times is probably going to be more than what I ever thought.”
Among those who didn’t make the cut were USC sophomore Alyaa Abdulghany (75, six over), Trojans sophomore Jennifer Chang (76, 10 over), Francis Parker High senior Brooke Seay of San Diego (83, 13 over) and Northwestern senior Stephanie Lau of Fullerton (78, 15 over).