ANWA second round pushes into Friday, though Augusta National still awaits all

ANWA second round pushes into Friday, though Augusta National still awaits all
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EVANS, Ga. – Ashley Menne was originally scheduled to tee off at 9:42 a.m. ET for Thursday’s second round of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. However, inclement weather delayed tee times seven-and-a-half hours, pushing Menne’s first tee ball to 5:12 p.m.

So, while nearly all the 72-player field waited out the delay in player dining at Champions Retreat, Menne stayed back in her hotel room, getting extra rest and binge watching the second season of Bridgerton on Netflix.

“I think I almost got the better end of the deal here,” said the Arizona State sophomore, who completed nine holes in 1 over par before Round 2 was suspended at 7:52 p.m. for darkness. Menne stands at 3 over, two shots inside the projected cut line and three off the lead, which is shared by Amari Avery, Beatrice Wallin and Haley Borja, who have two, two and eight holes left to play, respectively.

“I’m now going to finish my second round in the morning, and the conditions are going to be pretty good and there’s not going to be as much wind as there was this afternoon,” Menne added. “And then I have the Augusta National practice round to look forward to right after that, so no matter how I play tomorrow, I’m still going to enjoy my time.”

Play will resume at 7:30 a.m. Friday as tournament officials pulled off the best-case scenario considering the weather. Nine players were able to finish 36 holes by Thursday night, and that group, which includes first-round co-leader Anna Davis (now 2 over after a 4-over 76), will be the first to play their practice rounds at Augusta National Golf Club.

The rest of the field will follow them over to the iconic final-round venue upon completion of their second rounds. Menne’s group is expected to finish around 10:30 a.m., with a playoff to determine the 30-player cut following.

“It’s a lot of hours just like sitting and not doing much,” Wallin said. “I feel like playing cards with your friends or just spending time with them kind of made the time go quicker. At the end of the day, it was kind of easy just sitting and waiting. I didn’t really want to play in that kind of rain because it was pouring, so I was happy to wait and just hang around.”

Among the notables currently below the cut line of 4 over is top-ranked amateur Rose Zhang, who is 5 over after 14 holes of 1-over golf on Thursday. Zhang’s Stanford teammate Rachel Heck, lipped out her first two putts of the afternoon, including for bogey at No. 10, and was 5 over after 10 holes. Heck is 6 over along with Wake Forest standout Rachel Kuehn.

Borja, a senior at Michigan, bogeyed Nos. 10 and 11 to cap her day, but as she stood in the dark, a camera light illuminating her face, she preferred to look on the bright side – literally.

“It’s all about being patient,” Borja said. ” I really thought about the positives of today. Yeah, it’s bad weather, and I think everyone here is trying to do the best they can and have the best conditions that we can play on.”

USC’s Avery and Florida State’s Wallin, the only player with two previous top-10s in this event, were each 1 under on their second rounds, and Avery’s playing competitor, Jensen Castle, is the only player at 2 under. Castle shares fourth at 1 over with LSU’s Latanna Stone, Alabama’s Angelica Moresco and Danish junior Amalie Leth-Nissen.

While Friday will be another marathon day, the forecast is ideal the rest of the way.

“It will be a lot compared to last year,” Avery said.  “It was a lot smoother having to only play one round a day, but I’m only finishing two holes [on Friday], and they’re not too hard.

“So two holes, 7:30, and then head over to Augusta and have some fun.”

And then for those who survive the cut, 18 more holes Saturday for a chance at holing the winning putt on Augusta National’s famed 18th green.

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