U.S. Women’s Amateur: Kajal Mistry goes from T-124 to match play after 16-for-5 playoff

ROCKVILLE, Md. — After the first round of the U.S. Women’s Amateur, Kajal Mistry was T-124 thanks to a 9-over 81.

Two three-putts and a five-putt will do that to you.

“I really wasn’t hitting the ball bad (in the first round). I hit a lot of fairways but once or twice I’d miss in the wrong place, and you really can’t get it up-and-down from the wrong place here.”

Mistry is right. If you miss a shot at Woodmont Country Club, chances are you’re going to pay for it, especially with its thick, uncut rough after Hurricane Isais dumped more than two inches of rain on the property Monday night to Tuesday.

U.S. Women’s Amateur: Leaderboard | Tee times | Photos

A member of the Razorbacks women’s golf team, Mistry knows a thing or two about tough courses. Arkansas’ home track, Blessings Golf Club, isn’t for the faint of heart. Neither is Woodmont, especially in USGA championship condition.

In the car leaving the course on Monday, the Arkansas sophomore went over her round and realized she didn’t have much to work on. Just her focus, if anything. After the rain washed out Tuesday’s play, she took the day off. Instead of going to the range, she watched The Office and relaxed.

Who knew the comedic styling of Steve Carell was so powerful? The South African bounced back during Wednesday’s second round with a 3-under 69, matching the day’s low round alongside last-minute qualifier Marissa Wenzler and Natasha Andrea Oon.

Mistry’s 69 was nice enough to land her in a playoff to qualify for match play. Sixteen players were competing for the final five spots. Only one made birdie on the first playoff hole.

“I birdied (No. 8, the first playoff hole) early this morning, but I had a really good feeling because I was really striking the ball well today, so I felt comfortable,” explained Mistry.

“All the things that didn’t go my way with the 81 went my way today.”

Joining Mistry as playoff winners are Haylin Harris, Gurleen Kaur, Therese Warner, Auston Kim and Katherine Zhu. Incoming Stanford freshman Rachel Heck claimed medalist honors with rounds of 69-71, taking the No. 1 seed for match play at 4 under.

Thursday’s match play Round of 64 begins at 9:50 a.m. ET.

First-round matches to watch

Circle these five showdowns on your Round-of-64 tee sheet:

10:10 a.m.: Rose Zhang vs. Aline Krauter

12:40 p.m.: Zoe Antoinette Campos vs. Pimnipa Panthong

1:20 p.m.: Gina Kim vs. Isabella Fierro

2:30 p.m.: Gabriela Ruffels vs. Kajal Mistry

2:40 p.m.: Megha Ganne vs. Lei Ye

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