Mikha Fortuna carded a one-over 72 while Lois Kaye Go turned in a 73 as they moved in contention at the start of the US Girls’ Junior Championship at the Boone Valley Golf Club in Augusta, Missouri on Monday (Tuesday in Manila).
Fortuna mixed three birdies with four bogeys for a 38-34 card at the par-71 layout as The Country Club bet joined four others at 19th, just four strokes behind Californian Mika Liu, who fired a four-under 67 to post a one-stroke lead over New Yorker Caroline Hodge and Brianna Navarrosa, also of California.
Liu birdied four of the first seven holes, including three straight from No. 5, to seize control of the 155-player field in the first 36 holes of stroke play competition with the top 64 advancing to the match play phase of the annual event ruled by Princess Superal via a playoff in 2014.
Go, priming up for next month’s SEA Games in Malaysia, blew a one-under card after 11 holes with three straight bogeys from No. 13. But her 35-38 card still netted her a joint 24th place effort and safely within the cut-off line.
But while Fortuna, who has posted a number of victories abroad as member of Team TCC, and Go, stayed on track for spots in the knockout phase, compatriots Annika Cedo and Samantha Bruce hobbled with a pair of 10-over 81s.
Cedo had five bogeys, a double-bogey and a triple-bogey in a birdie-less 40-41 card while Bruce limped with seven bogeys and a triple bogey at the back but parred the frontside for a 36-45. They stood far behind at joint 121st.
Hodge and Navarrosa shot identical 68s to trail Liu by one while Thai Paphangkorn Tavatanakit carded a 70 to join four others at fourth.