Whittington slips at national tournament

Published 5:14 pm Tuesday, August 7, 2018

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Karley Whittington was safely inside the cut line after the second round of the Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship golf tournament, but fell well off the pace for the lead.

The former Warren Central standout entered the second round one shot off the lead, then carded a 9-over par 81 on Tuesday at the Daniel Island Club. Whittington was among the 27 golfers to make the cut at the halfway point of the four-round tournament, but is nine strokes behind leader Alexis Sudjianto of Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Big “I” National Championship features 150 of the top junior golfers in the country. It is touted as the largest junior stroke play tournament in the United States, with 98 boys and 52 girls competing.

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It’s one of Whittington’s last junior tournaments before beginning her college career at Central Arkansas, and she’ll need a big rally to climb back up the leaderboard Wednesday and Thursday.

Whittington made four birdies in her opening round of 71 on Monday to trail Emily Hawkins (Lexington, N.C.) by one stroke. Whittington double-bogeyed her last hole in the first round, however, and that was an ominous sign of what was to come on Tuesday.

She started the second round with another bogey, then sandwiched two more around a birdie on No. 8 to close out the front nine at 2-over par for the round. On the back nine she made double bogey on Nos. 11, 16 and 17, and bogey on Nos. 13 and 18. The lone highlight was a birdie on No. 14.

The nightmarish nine holes left her at 8-over par 152 for the tournament and alone in 11th place.
Sudjianto shot a 1-under par 71 on Tuesday, following a round of even-par on Monday, for a total of 143 and a one-shot lead over Hawkins and Alice Hodge (Larchmont, New York).

The top 27 players in the girls’ tournament made the cut for the final two rounds. Two Mississippians, Madeleine Yu of Hattiesburg and Presley Baggett of Canton, missed the cut. The 15-year-old Yu shot 45-over par for the first two rounds, and Baggett withdrew without finishing the first round.