Two Vanderbilt golf standouts, rising junior Morgan Baxendale and rising sophomore Auston Kim, have qualified for the United States Women’s Amateur Championships.
Baxendale and Kim advanced to the nation’s most prestigious amateur tournament at qualifying events in Ormond Beach, Florida and Addison, Illinois, respectively.
The 119th annual U.S. Women’s Amateur will be held Aug. 5-11 at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Mississippi.
Baxendale, from Windermere, Florida, advanced in remarkable fashion, firing a 6-under-par 66 at Oceanside Country Club in Ormond Beach, Florida. Kim, from St. Augustine, Florida, notched a 2-under par 70 to the Preserve at Oak Meadows near Chicago to secure a spot.
It marks the first time either Baxendale and Kim have qualified to play in the U.S. Women’s Amateur.
“I’m excited for both of us,” Baxendale said. “I’m really glad Auston and I get to go together and get to experience playing in Women’s Amateur. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Baxendale captured the 18-hole Ormond Beach qualifier by registering her lowest competitive round in more than two years. Playing the Oceanside Country Club for just the second time, Baxendale gained the lead early with a 4-under-par front-nine. She managed to reach 7-under on the round until closing with a bogey on No. 18.
“I definitely saw a lot of putts drop. That was the big difference. Getting to four-under through nine really helped calm me down and give me a lot of confidence on the back nine,” Baxendale said.
Kim, who participated in the U.S. Women’s Open in May, showed plenty of firepower Tuesday, making two eagles and three birdies to share medalist honors with two others.
“I was in good position after an eagle on 14 and birdie on 15, then I really scrambled to make bogey on the final hole,” Kim said. “There’s a lot of room for improvement but parts of my game are heading in the right direction. It shows that all the work is paying off.”
Baxendale and Kim will become the first Commodores to play in the U.S. Women’s Amateur since rising senior Abbey Carlson advanced to match-play at the 2016 tournament.
The U.S. Women’s Amateur format features 36 holes of stroke play for all participants, with the top 64 advancing to match-play elimination rounds.