3 Things to Know: 79th U.S. Women’s Open Presented by Ally, Round 2

By Ron Sirak

| May 30, 2024 | Lancaster, Pa.

3 Things to Know: 79th U.S. Women’s Open Presented by Ally, Round 2

The old adage is that you can’t win the championship on Thursday, but you can lose it on Thursday. Round 1 of the 79th U.S. Women’s Open Presented by Ally was a day on which par was not a good score — it was a great score. And being a few over par for the round was far from a bad thing. It means you are still very much in the hunt. There’s a lot of golf to play and indications are that no one is going to go low and run away and hide at Lancaster Country Club.

In fact, with nearly three dozen players within four strokes of the lead, Friday’s play should be a highly entertaining battle for position on the leader board. This is feeling very much like a championship in which anyone who makes the cut to play on the weekend will have a chance to win.

Here are 3 things to look for in Friday’s Round 2.

For the Love of the Game

One of the things on clear display in Thursday’s first round of the U.S. Women’s Open is the strength of amateur golf. And one of the things to look for Friday is whether more than seven amateurs can make the cut. The best of the 21 amateurs in the field of 156 was Adela Cernousek, who toured Lancaster Country Club in 1-under-par 69. Megan Schofill, the reigning U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, was one stroke back at 70 along with 15-year-old high school freshman Asterisk Talley and Catherine Park.

In the last three U.S. Women’s Open championships, four amateurs qualified for weekend play. The most to make the cut in recent years was seven in 2018. A very bunched up leader board certainly gives a lot of amateurs a chance to make a move on Friday. And with Cernousek, Schofill, Talley and Park in the mix, it’s a good time to remember that the last amateur to win this championship was Catherine Lacoste of France in 1967.

A Work in Progress

Keep an eye on the cut line on Friday. It will likely move around a bit during the day. Among those well outside the cut number going into Round 2 are Rolex Ranking World No. 1 Nelly Korda and No. 14 Lydia Ko. The top 60 players and ties for 60th place make it to the weekend. If the cut were made after Thursday’s first round, the number would be 4-over par. That will almost certainly go higher on Friday.  

Defending champion Allisen Corpuz fired a 75 along with Jin Young Ko, 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Gabi Ruffels and 2019 U.S. Women’s Open champion Jeong eun Lee6. They are very much in the mix to play the weekend.

A Championship Course

The wind will be worth watching on Friday. If it is as frisky as it was in Round 1, the elevation changes of Lancaster Country Club and the precision needed to place the ball in the proper place on the steeply contoured greens will once again be very demanding.

Lancaster Country Club was set up at 6,516 yards for the opening round and played to a stroke average of more than 75, with the second nine the more difficult of the two sides. Oddly, the hardest and easiest hole came back-to-back, with the par-3 12th hole playing 0.80 strokes over par and the par-5 13th 0.07 under par. Five of the six most difficult holes were on the back nine on Thursday. Keep an eye on how your favorite player handles that closing stretch.

Ron Sirak is a Massachusetts-based freelance writer.