Rachel Heck rides morning wave, leads U.S. Women’s Amateur


ROCKVILLE, Md. — Storms brought on by Hurricane Isaias washed out Tuesday’s scheduled second round of the 120th U.S. Women’s Amateur at Woodmont Country Club just outside the nation’s capital.

More than two and a half inches of rain later, play is heating up early on Wednesday as the 132-player field competes to make the 64-player match play cut.

Stanford rising-freshman Rachel Heck is tied for the lead after the morning wave, making five birdies and four bogeys en route to an up-and-down 1 under 71. The Memphis native walked off the course tied for the lead at 4 under with Wake Forest’s Rachel Kuehn, who had yet to start her second round.

U.S. Women’s Amateur: Leaderboard | Tee times | Photos

“Even after the rain, I was surprised how well it was playing,” Heck said of how the course was able to hold up through the storm. “Yeah, it’s pretty tight, so we were focusing on hitting fairways, hitting greens, not trying to do anything crazy, and that’s kind of been my game plan and it’s worked out well so far.”

After an opening-round 3-under 69 on Monday, the day off was good for Heck, the 2017 Rolex Junior Player of the Year.

“Well, I slept in super late. I ate some food. I took another nap. I ate some more food. That’s about how that went. It was nice. It was pretty nice,” she said with a laugh.

Pretty nice indeed.

While the pandemic derailed Heck’s AJGA tournament plans, if you ask her mother, she’ll tell you the break was great for Heck’s game.

“So I just started playing with this group on my course every single day and they are all very good players, so I’m playing a competitive round every single day,” she said of the rounds at Spring Creek Ranch outside of Memphis. “So when I started tournaments again, when I played the North & South, I just didn’t know how my game would be. I had not played tournaments, but I came out and played solid and confident and I was playing well and I realized that I should have been doing that the whole time.”

While scores are slightly lower midway through the second round, the weather hasn’t taken any bite out of Woodmont. Monday’s average score was 75.273. As of 1:30 p.m. ET Wednesday, the second-round average was 75.323.

“This course is huge, especially for me,” said USC senior Alyaa Abdulghany with a laugh. “Fairways were a little damp, but this course drains really well. I was quite surprised at how my ball was still rolling after hitting driver.”



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