Whittington regroups at Big “I” tourney

Published 5:04 pm Wednesday, August 8, 2018

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Karley Whittington got back on track Wednesday at the Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship, giving her a chance to salvage a top-five finish at the prestigious junior golf tournament.

Whittington shot an even-par 72 in the third round to put her at 8-over 224 for the tournament, and in eighth place overall. The former Warren Central star and Central Arkansas signee is 10 shots behind leader Alice Hodge, likely too far to make a push for the title but still in range for a respectable showing.

The four-round tournament concludes Thursday.

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Hodge, from Larchmont, New York, shot a 2-under par 70 on Wednesday and will take a four-stroke lead into the final round. Hodge shot a 75 in the opening round on Monday, but has followed it up with a 69 and a 70 to move to 2-under par 214 for the tournament.

Kyung Eun Lee (Honolulu, Hawaii) is at 218 after shooting a 68 on Wednesday. She shot a 77 in the second round. Lee is in a four-way tie for second place with Jacqueline Lucena (Chico, California), second-round leader Alexis Sudjianto (Charlotte, North Carolina) and Emily Hawkins (Lexington, N.C.).
Jensen Castle (West Columbia, South Carolina) is another shot back at 219, and is followed by Elle Johnson (Inman, S.C.) at 223 and Whittington at 224.

Whittington rallied after shooting an 81 on Tuesday by making four birdies in the first 12 holes Wednesday, including three in a row on Nos. 4-6.

Unfortunately, that good work was undone by some struggles on the back nine. Whittington closed with four bogeys in the last eight holes. She was at 3-under par for the round before making bogey on Nos. 13, 15 and 16. She closed out the round with two pars.

In the first three rounds of the tournament, the back nine has been where Whittington has struggled. She is 11-over par for the tournament on the last nine holes at the Daniel Island Club, with seven bogeys and four double bogeys. By contrast, she is 3-under par and only has three bogeys — all in the second round — and six birdies on the front nine.

Her par on No. 18 on Wednesday marked the first time she did not make bogey or double bogey on the 494-yard par-5 hole.