BEDMINSTER, N.J. – The Garden State’s lone entrant in the third major of the season is in contention and the President of the United States will be on hand to see it.
Marina Alex, born and raised in Wayne, shot a solid 2-under-par 70 to move within five strokes of the lead after Friday’s second round of the USGA’s 72nd annual U.S. Women’s Open Championship at Trump National Golf Club (Old Course) in Bedminster, New Jersey.
After completing her first round early Friday morning to finish at 1-under-par (36-35–71), Alex was right back at it for her second round, starting at 8:39 a.m., and she didn’t disappoint.
Alex had a flawless front nine with two birdies on the 1st and 5th holes to move to 3-under for the tournament, starting her back nine.
After a bogey on the 10th hole, Alex responded with four straight pars, before a birdie on the par-5, 506-yard 15th hole. Alex bogeyed the 17th, but responded yet again with a birdie on the 18th to make the cut for just the second time in a U.S. Open in four career tries.
“It’s been a really long day. I was here since about 5:15 a.m., finishing my first round okay. The conditions have been tough all day. My play was just steady. I hit a ton of fairways, a lot of greens, made some good putts early in the round. I made two really great putts on 17 and 18. The 17th was for bogey. I drove it into the water on the right-hand side. It was really the only tee shot I had missed all day,” Alex said. “I made a really great birdie on 18, drove it in the left rough and hit a hybrid down and hit an 8-iron pretty tight into the flag. I’m really happy with how I finished and now I get to relax for a little bit. It’s been quite a chaotic 24 hours.”
Alex, who tees off Saturday with Japan’s Haru Nomura at 1:51 p.m., is chasing first-round leader, Shanshan Feng of China, who followed up her 6-under 66 on Thursday with a solid 2-under 70 on Friday to post a score of 8-under-par (66-70–136) and hold a two-shot lead.
“I played, maybe, nine holes in the rain today. My first nine, it played really long, so I had to hit a lot of 5-irons and hybrids into the green,” Feng said. “But, luckily my ball-striking was pretty good. Overall, I did really well today.”
The Korean trio of Amy Yang and 17-year-old amateur sensation Hye-Jin Choi, along with Jeongeun6 Lee, all are tied for second place at 6-under.
Korean Seon Woo Bae sits alone in fifth place at 5-under-par.
Fox Sports takes over national broadcast coverage for the next two rounds, starting at 2 p.m. EDT Saturday.