14-year-old is tops at Women’s Public Links

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Qualifying medallist Ariya Jutanugarn easily advanced to the second round of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, beating Canada’s Augusta James 7 and 6 on Wednesday.

The 14-year-old Jutanugarn, from Thailand, matched the stroke-play tournament record for lowest 36-hole score at 135 on Tuesday. She’s trying to become to the second-youngest winner in tournament history behind Michelle Wie (13 in 2003).

Jutanugarn finished her match before rain delayed play at Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course for three hours. In the second round Thursday morning, she will face Karen Chung of Livingston, N.J., a 4-and-2 winner over Grace Na of Oakland, Calif.

Stroke-play runner-up Martina Gavier of Argentina also advanced, beating Jessie Jordan of Urbana, Ohio, 3 and 2.

Third-seeded Lizette Salas of Azusa, Calif., had a 2-up victory over Kuriko Tsukiyama of Bogota, N.J., and Victoria Sungmin Park of Irvine, Calif., beat No. 4 Brittany Altomare of Shrewsbury, Mass., 1-up. Park finished with a birdie on the par-4 18th, while Altomare bogeyed the closing hole.

Tiffany Lua of Rowland Heights, Calif., the 2009 stroke-play medalist, lost in the opening round for the second straight year. She fell 3 and 1 to Victoria Fallgren of Lakewood, Calif. Kimberly Kim of Hilo, Hawaii, the 2006 and 2009 runner-up, advanced with a 4-and-3 victory over Simone Hoey of Long Beach, Calif.

The second and third rounds are Thursday, followed by the quarterfinals and semifinals on Friday and the 36-hole championship match Saturday.

The tournament is open to amateurs who have a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 18.4 and who don’t hold privileges at any course that doesn’t extend playing privileges to the general public.