Kari Qualifies For U.S. Amateur Public Links

LONETREE, Colo. - University of Colorado senior-to-be Meaghan Kari emerged from a playoff to qualify for the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship for the second straight year here Thursday at the Lone Tree Club.  The championship will be held in Bandon, Ore., on June 27-July 2.

Kari shot a 5-over-par 77 through 18 holes and was in a three-way tie for fourth place.   She was one of the first groups in and atop the leader board but it wasn't clear there would be a playoff until the second-to-last group came in.

"I was actually a little disappointed after the round," Kari said. "I thought I could've scored a little better.  I ended the round with two bogeys in the last three holes."

A playoff commenced with two spots open for the three players tied at 5-over.  In the playoff on the first hole, after one of the other players missed a 25-foot par putt by a couple of inches, she sank a tough 7-foot downhill putt to earn a par and advance.

"I was really nervous," Kari said.  "I've only been in a playoff one other time.  The hole isn't that hard overall; I knew it would come down to putting.  After the other girl missed her 25-foot putt, I knew I had to do was make the putt or we would go to the next hole and I didn't want to do that."

It was Kari's second playoff in her career, but the first since high school.  Still, that experience helped her and both her playoff experiences should help her moving on to the championships in Oregon.  At the Publinks, there are two rounds of a qualifier and then a cut before match play.

"There are no situations you can simulate like a playoff," Kari said. "It's good practice for match play to be in a playoff, because every stroke counts.  You can't just make it up on the next hole.  It definitely helped me that I had been in a playoff before, and I think being in a playoff here will help me in Oregon."

In other women's golf news, CU's Jessica Wallace advanced to match play at the British Women's Open in Northern Ireland.  She finished qualification in 50th place with a 36-hole total of 154 earlier this week.  She then fell to Sally Watson, 4 & 2, in the first round of match play Thursday.

Next up for Wallace as she continues her travels with Team Canada will be The Astor Trophy, slated for June 15-19 just across the Irish Sea at the Fairhaven Golf Club in the United Kingdom.   Formerly known as the Commonwealth Tournament, the Astor Trophy is a team event played every four years since 1959.  Competing countries include Great Brittan & Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.

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