Grace Na of Alameda, Calif., a fourth-year player on the Symetra Tour, shot four-over-par 72-76-148 to earn medalist honors at the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open Championship Sectional Qualifying Round on Wednesday, May 2, at the Canoe Brook Country Club (North Course) in Summit. The event was conducted by the NJSGA in association with the USGA.

Na was one of two players to earn the right to play in the U.S. Women’s Open, set for May 29-June 3 at Shoal Creek Golf and Country Club in Shoal Creek, Ala.

She will be joined by Evelyn Arguelles of Oaxtepec, Mexico, a sophomore at Dallas Baptist University, who parred the first hole in a three-way playoff for players who shot five-over-par 149. Arguelles (74-75) needed a 20-foot par putt on the 18thhole to force her way into the playoff.

Also scoring 149 were Karen Chung of Livingston, N.J., a second-year Symetra Tour player and former All-America at USC, and 16-year-old high school sophomore Jennifer Cleary of Wilmington, Del.

Cleary earned the first alternate spot and Chung the second.


On the first playoff hole, Arguelles hit her drive down the middle on the par-4 350-yard 10thhole, then lofted an 8-iron from 145 yards to within 20 feet of the cup. She two-putted for the par. Chung had a chance to continue the chase for the second U.S. Open position, but her four-foot downhill putt slid past the hole and she settled for bogey and continued on in a playoff with Cleary for the first alternate spot that Cleary eventually won.

“This is my first time after 10 tries of making it into the U.S. Open,” said Na, who has made the cut once in LPGA Tour play. “I’m pretty excited. Today, I had to stay patient and keep on an even keel. The conditions were very tough with all that wind.”

Na, 25, was a four-time All-America at Pepperdine University. Her teammate at alameda High School was Rutgers University golfer Samantha Moyal.

Na will tee it up this weekend at the Symetra Tour’s IOA Invitational in Milton, Ga.

Arguelles credited Canoe Brook caddie Kahmol Kidd for his guidance over the 36-hole event. “He gave me a lot of good reads. This course was hard, especially with all the wind. This was my third try and I finally made it into the U.S. Open. I’m very happy.”

Arguelles will be playing next week in the Division 2 regionals . She averaged 73 for the season for Dallas Baptist and is the third-ranked golfer in Division 2.

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