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Northwest players advance to match play at U.S. Women’s Amateur

Kennedy Swann of McKenzie Bridge, Ore. shot an impressive 1-under 71 in today’s second round of stroke-play qualifying at the U.S. Women’s Amateur to easily make it into the match-play portion of the championship, which is being held this week at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md.

Also making match play are Ellie Slama of Salem, Ore. and Therese Warner of Kennewick, Wash.

This is the first appearance in the championship for Swann, while for Slama and Warner it is their second appearance. Slama was named the 2019 PNGA Women’s Player of the Year and was previously named the PNGA Junior Girls’ Player of the Year in 2015 and 2016.

Therese Warner of Kennewick, Wash. made it to a playoff after today’s qualifying round, and parred the second hole of the playoff to secure her spot in match-play. There were 15 competitors in the playoff, vying for the final six spots.

Of the 132 players who began the two days of stroke-play qualifying, 64 now advance to the match-play bracket, with the Round of 64 scheduled to be held on Thursday, Aug 6.

Kennedy Swann hits her tee shot at the third hole during the second round of stroke play at the 2020 U.S. Women's Amateur. (Copyright USGA/Chris Keane)
Kennedy Swann hits her tee shot at the third hole during the second round of stroke play at the 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur. (Copyright USGA/Chris Keane)

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Here is a transcript of Swann’s post-round interview, courtesy ASAP Sports:

KENNEDY SWANN: Didn’t play quite enough wind and had a funky lie, and so tried to get cute with it and left it in the bunker and hit it out to about 12 feet and 2-putted for double, and then my tee shot on 18 hit the cart path and went into the thick grass, and so I had to punch straight out back into the fairway 20 yards and then hit it up on the green and 2-putted for bogey. My main goal was just to make the cut and guarantee that I would be playing tomorrow.

    Q. You had a great front nine. Talk through some of those birdies and how you were playing on the front?

KENNEDY SWANN: Yeah, so I birdied 1, which was kind of unexpected. And then I bogeyed 3, actually, which I bogeyed both days. And then I got to 5 and hit a pitching wedge to five feet and made that putt.

Actually lipped-out for birdie on 6, was in a divot on 7 fairway and hit it — almost made the shot and hit it to about three feet and made that birdie.

And then hit a knock pitching wedge on 8 to probably ten feet and made that putt for birdie and then had a really good bunker save on 9.

    Q. I wanted to ask about your family taking an RV from Austin. Were you with them? How did you get out here?

KENNEDY SWANN: So I’m actually living in Oregon right now, so I flew. I woke up at 2:30 in the morning and had like a 12-hour travel day. So it was a long day of travel.

But my mom actually doesn’t like to fly, so they drive everywhere. So all throughout junior golf we drove from Austin to Rhode Island, Austin to New York, did Pinehurst pretty much yearly. Driven to Arizona and we’ve driven everywhere all over the country.

    Q. What did they say about this trip, any funny stories?

KENNEDY SWANN: Not bad. They actually stopped up in Asheville, North Carolina, and camped along the Blue Ridge Parkway for two or three days and actually rented a Harley Davidson motorcycle and drove for a full day on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Wish I could have been there with them because I love that area, but they had a lot of fun, and I also think being in the RV, it’s pretty safe. Your exposure is to people you’re with.

    Q. Will you join them on any trips the rest of the year?

KENNEDY SWANN: Yeah, so it depends on when our season is, but I think with everything going on, once I end up finishing the season, I’m going to fly back instead of driving, and then I will probably drive back to Austin and we’ll road trip from Austin to Oregon. Having an RV doesn’t make it too bad.

    Q. This will be your extra year, right?

KENNEDY SWANN: Yeah. So I just graduated, but I got the opportunity to go back and pursue a fifth year and get my MBA.

    Q. Tough to have the season last?

KENNEDY SWANN: Especially how well we were playing. We had I think three out of five tournament wins in the fall, which is pretty good for a team record going in. And so it’s great that we have pretty much all of our team returning, including another senior with an extra year and then we have three really good freshmen coming in. So even if for some reason we don’t get to play the fall, we are excited for the spring.

    Q. Is Julia Johnson the other Rebel here with you?

KENNEDY SWANN: Yeah, she’s on the putting green. But yeah, she’s pretty dang good, too.

    Q. Maybe not the finish you wanted but still a great round and headed into match play, what’s the best part of your game that’s going to translate to match play, and how do you feel going in?

KENNEDY SWANN: I think I had no it 3-putts the last two days, and on these greens, I feel like that’s a pretty big accomplishment because they are very undulated and if you hit the wrong part, it’s definitely easy to three-putt. So I feel like my putter is pretty good going into it, and I feel like overall, I’m just pretty consistent. Everything’s been pretty straight and not a lot of big misses.