NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt golf standouts Morgan Baxendale and Auston Kim will open play Monday in the first round of the 119th United States Women’s Amateur.
Kim, a rising sophomore from St. Augustine, Florida, will tee off at 9:05 a.m., while Baxendale, a rising junior from Windermere, Florida, has a 1:35 p.m. tee time.
The U.S. Women’s Amateur continues through Aug. 11 at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Mississippi.
This marks the first time Baxendale or Kim have played in the U.S. Women’s Amateur. They advanced to the nation’s most prestigious women’s amateur championship in early July at qualifying events in Ormond Beach, Florida and Addison, Illinois, respectively. Baxendale advanced in remarkable fashion, firing a 6-under-par 66 at Oceanside Country Club in Ormond Beach. Kim notched a 2-under par 70 to the Preserve at Oak Meadows near Chicago to secure a spot.
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 in 2016.
The duo played together Sunday in a final practice on the par-72 Old Waverly layout.
“It was just lot of fun just getting to play the course with Auston,” Baxendale said. “She looked great hitting the ball. Actually, we are both coming in playing well and really excited about competing against some of the best amateurs in the world.”
“I’m super excited to play in my first Women’s Am,” Kim said. “All I’m focusing on is staying patient and making sure I have a good attitude this week.”
Baxendale said the 6,509-yard Old Waverly venue demands accuracy off the tee and with approach shots. “The course is in really great shape. It’s very tight and challenges you to hit precise shots. It’s the kind of course that I think suits our game,” she said.
How they qualified
Baxendale captured the 18-hole Ormond Beach qualifier by registering a 6-under-par 66, 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.
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.
The field, the format, tournament history
Baxendale and Kim are among 156 competitors expected to tee off Monday. Every participant will be two rounds of stroke play, with the top 64 advancing to match-play elimination rounds. The eventual championship match, featuring 36 holes of match play, is scheduled Sunday, Aug. 11.
Notable U.S. Women’s Amateur champions include Lydia Ko (2012), Danielle Kang (2010-11), Morgan Pressel (2004), Juli Inkster (1980-82) and Beth Daniel (1975, 1977). Several other notable golfers currently on the LPGA have finished second, including Brooke Henderson, Moriya Jutanugarn and Jessica Korda.
The 2018 Women’s Amateur, played at the Golf Club of Tennessee just west of Nashville, was captured by Kristen Gillman.
Coverage and results
Once play begins Monday, live results of the U.S. Women’s Amateur are available at usga.org. FOX Sports will provide television coverage Wednesday though Sunday.