Golf: Shon finishes one shot shy of cut at U.S. Women's Open
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Rising sophomore Kelly Shon competed at the U.S. Women’s Open this weekend at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo. Shon made a late charge, birdieing two of her final seven holes, but she finished one shot above the cut line at plus-eight. Her two-round score of 150 placed her tied for 73rd in the 156-player field.
The 19-year-old Shon finished sixth among 25 amateurs in the event, which is considered the most prestigious annual women’s golf tournament.
"I was having a little trouble with my game coming into the tournament," Shon said in an email. "I had just flown in from Portland where I played and putted terribly in the U.S. Public Links Championship. I was beginning to play and putt better, but I was not mechanically in an ideal place."
Shon was one of the first players to step onto the course on Thursday, teeing off with the fifth group at 7:44 a.m. She settled down immediately after opening with a double-bogey on the par-4 first, shooting a birdie three on the second hole. After making the turn at three over par, Shon fired a 35 on the back nine, offsetting two bogeys with a pair of birdies, to finish the first round plus-three and tied for 43rd place.
Although she opened her round early in the morning, Shon was not able to finish the 18th hole on Thursday, as thunderstorms forced officials to halt play shortly after noon. Her ball mark sat three feet from the hole for 17 hours, a short shot that weighed on her mind for the entire night.
After making the putt to finish with a par on Friday, Shon sat for hours expecting an evening tee time, which was eventually pushed back to Saturday morning.
"After I made my par putt and my second round tee time had been moved to 7:44 p.m., I stuck around, not knowing what to do for the rest of the day," she said. "Eventually, around seven, I was warming up when another storm hit and play was suspended again. Now I was teeing off for my second round at 7:11 a.m. on Saturday and set my alarm to 4:30."
"This was all very hectic, frustrating, and physically, mentally and emotionally draining," she said.
Starting off the tenth tee on Saturday, Shon struggled to her worst nine holes of the tournament, carding four bogeys and a double en route to a 41. But she turned it around on the final side, offsetting one bogey with a birdie on the first seven holes.
"The cut, which I didn't think was a problem [entering the round] was all I could think of for the back nine," Shon said.
The projected cut line - which Shon was told was plus-10 at one point on Saturday - moved downward throughout the afternoon, surprising the golfers with scores near the mark.
"I almost had a hole-in-one on my 17th," Shon said of the course's eighth hole, which she birdied to move to plus-eight with one hole left. "With a birdie there and a chance for another birdie from nine feet on my 18th, I thought I was good for the cut. I missed that birdie putt and soon after my round realized that was not the case. I wish I would have known the birdie on 18th would mean so much."
The cut line ultimately fell at plus-seven, eliminating Shon by one stroke.
Despite the very disappointing finish, she said that the tournament was "an encouraging experience."
"Before the tournament, I was able to play my practice rounds with some of the best in the world, including Yani Tseng, Jiyai Shin and Michelle Wie," she said. "I probably had the best time during my practice rounds for that reason - you're never having a bad day when you're playing with the best gals in the world."
On May 23, Shon placed second at the U.S. Women’s Open Qualifying tournament in Medina, Minn., where the first and second-place finishers automatically qualified for the Open. Shon shot a two-under-par 132 over two rounds, comfortably placing her in the top two.
Shon was a first-team All-Ivy League golfer as a freshman in 2011 and qualified the NCAA Regional Tournament in the spring, becoming the fifth Tiger ever to participate in regional play.
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