Rianne Malixi and Tomi Arejola waged late rallies on separate nines but came up short at the finish and missed the match play stage by one shot on a 74 and 75, respectively, after the 36-hole stroke play elims of the US Women’s Amateur at Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington Tuesday.
Three shared medalist honors, including 13-year-old Chinese Alice Zhao, who took control after 18 holes with a 67 then held on with a 69 for a 136 matched by Americans Latanna Stone, who scorched the par-73 layout with a 65, and Laney Frye, who carded a second straight 68, as they led 61 others into the knockout stage starting Wednesday.
Reeling from a disastrous first day 77, Malixi fell even farther with bogeys on the first two holes but found her touch and range and racked up four straight birdies to crash into the Top 64.
But a missed green bogey on the seventh stalled her charge and though she recovered the stroke with another birdie on No. 12, she lost it all as she lost her putting touch and poise on the tricky greens of Chambers Bay.
A rare five-putt mishap on the par-5 No. 13 led to an 8 and sent the ICTSI-backed Malixi crashing out and her birdie bids in the next two holes that lipped out only added to her putting woes.
Still, she stepped onto the par-5 18th mound nurturing hopes for a playoff for the last berth but after setting up a 12-foot birdie putt, she missed it again, settling for a 36-38 and a 151.
Eight players finished with 150s and tied for 61st. They were disputing the last four slots in playoffs at presstime.
Like Malixi, Arejola also needed to bounce back big after an opening 76 but a birdie-less backside 40 start all but stymied her drive for a spot in the match play with a seven-over aggregate.
But she snapped a four par-game at the front with back-to-back birdies from No. 5 then the Campbell University mainstay gained another stroke on the par-5 eighth to get into the Top 64. She, however, bogeyed the par-3 No. 9 and finished with a 75 for a similar 151.
Meantime, Nicole Abelar, safely at joint 21st with an opening one-under 72, fell off the leaderboard with a thud on an erratic backside start marred by four bogeys and a double bogey with no birdie to show for a 42.
Two more bogeys at the front dropped her out of contention, her birdie on No. 7 hardly propping up her comeback bid. She wound up with an 80 and ended up with a 152.