Murrells Inlet’s Knaffle advances to U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship’s match play

Smith Knaffle
Smith Knaffle The Sun News file photo

Smith Knaffle of Murrells Inlet shot a 4-over 75 on Tuesday in the second round of the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship at the 6,311-yard Boone Valley Golf Club in Augusta, Mo.

Knaffle, 16, a rising junior at St. James High and South Carolina commitment, was among the top 64 who advanced to advance to match play that begins Wednesday. The 36-hole championship match is scheduled for Saturday.

She is playing in her first U.S. Girls’ Junior.

Mika Liu, the inaugural 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball co-champion and the only USGA champion in the field, shot 5-under 66 and won the stroke-play portion by one stroke. Liu, of Beverly Hills, Calif., will be enrolled at Stanford in the next month.

Liu is playing in a championship record-tying seventh consecutive U.S. Girls’ Junior. If not for the United States Golf Association’s decision to increase the championship’s maximum age from 17 to 18 starting this year, Liu, who turned 18 in February, would not be competing. Including Liu, there are 33 18-year-olds in the field.

David Wetzel: 843-626-0295, @MYBSports