One of only two Kentucky golfers to qualify for the Girls’ Junior PGA Championship and the lone survivor to make the cut at halfway, Georgetown’s Rylea Marcum put together a strong finish at the international showcase.
Marcum backed up her 1-under 69 in Wednesday’s second round with a matching score Thursday, then fired 71 on Friday morning to wrap up the tournament at Keney Park Golf Course in Windsor, Connecticut.
Combined with a 75 in the opening round, Marcum’s steady follow-up work gave her a 72-hole total of 4-over 284, tying her for 44th in the field of 144 players.
Yuka Saso of the Philippines — like Marcum, a prospective 2020 high school graduate — won the tournament. Saso shot sizzling rounds of 65, 68, 66 and 67 to finish at 14-under 266 for a two-shot, come-from-behind win.
Week-long leader Rose Zhang of Irvine, California, faded to 73 in the final round. She finished in a tie for fourth at 271 with Alexa Pano of Lake Worth, Florida.
South Carolina’s Jensen Castle was second with 268, one stroke ahead of California’s Amari Avery.
Marcum sank four birdies in the third round at Nos. 8, 10, 12 and 15. She had only one bogey on the back nine after early stumbles on the first and fifth greens.
For Friday’s finishing kick, Marcum weaved a 33 on the incoming nine with the help of birdies at 10, 12 and 14.
Those were a rebound from back-to-back bogeys on the eighth and ninth holes.
Marcum qualified for the national tournament again this year by finishing second to Laney Frye of Nicholasville in the state event.
Warman, Martin, Webb earn berths in Kentucky Open
Three local players earned the privilege of competing in the Kentucky Open — just over the county line at Lexington’s Kearney Hill, July 30 to Aug. 1 —with their efforts in a Wednesday qualifier at Cherry Blossom.
Justin Warman matched Ryan Martin of Prestonsburg with a low score of 6-under 66 to lead the way.
Jeremy Martin continued the Georgetown parade in a three-way tie for third at 67, while Brody Webb put himself in the field with a 68.
Warman and Webb are amateurs, while Martin is a pro.
The performance capped a huge week for Warman, who advanced from a Cherry Blossom pre-qualifier for the PGA Barbasol Championship on Tuesday.
Kal Oakes can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.