DUPONT, Wash. — Walla Walla’s Emily Baumgart is headed for Mississippi next month and the biggest golfing challenge of her career.

The Washington State University junior-to-be earned a ticket to the Women’s U.S. Amateur here Monday during a qualifying round at The Home Course.

Baumgart, a 2016 DeSales High School grad and a two-time Washington Class B state champion, fired a 3-under-par 69 Monday and finished second in a field of 43 hopefuls. 

The top five players in the field qualified for next month’s U.S. ‘Am’ that will be held at the Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Miss. The next two players in Monday’s field will serve as alternates.

Japanese player Rino Sasaki set the pace Monday with a 6-under 66. Three shots off the pace, Baumgart finished two strokes in front of Theresa Warner of Kennewick and Ellen Secor of Portland, who tied for third place with matching 1-under-par 71s.

Ziyi Wang of China shot even-par 72 and claimed the fifth spot in a sudden-death playoff with Lauryn Nguyen of Seattle and Olivia Benzin of Tacoma. Nguyen and Benzin also matched par-72 and are the alternates to next month’s tournament.

The Women’s U.S. Amateur begins Aug. 5 and runs through Aug. 11. Players will compete in two rounds of stroke play, and players who survive the cut will then engage in match play competition to determine the winner 


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