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Local golfers qualify for today's U.S. Women's Amateur in Portland

Maxoutopoulis, Wang to compete against best women amateur golfers in U.S. Golf Association tournament

Pleasanton will be represented by two young women golfers at the U.S. Women's Amateur tournament, which starts Monday at Portland Golf Club in Oregon.

Kortnie Maxoutopoulis, a 22-year-old Foothill alumna who recently graduated from Texas Christian University, qualified for her first U.S. Women's Amateur with a dramatic 50-foot putt in a sudden-death playoff at regional qualifying in El Dorado County earlier this month.

Five days earlier, 16-year-old Xinying "Miranda" Wang, who lives in Pleasanton and trains at Ruby Hill Golf Club, earned her tournament bid in regional qualifying in southern Maryland.

The pair are set to tee it up against many of the best female amateur golfers from around the world in the annual national championship organized by the U.S. Golf Association.

"It should be a great competition, and I'm looking forward to the experience to compete at this top amateur level," Maxoutopoulis said in an email interview this week.

Wang could not be reached before the event. She was out of town, traveling for competition this past week, according to a Ruby Hill representative.

Maxoutopoulis, who wrapped up her final season at TCU this spring, was one of the final golfers to secure a spot at regional qualifying July 13 at Cameron Park Country Club, northeast of Sacramento.

She and five other golfers were tied in fifth place at the end of regulation after shooting a 2-over-par 74, sending the six competitors into a sudden-death playoff to decide who would claim the final four remaining U.S. Women's Amateur bids up for grabs at Cameron Park.

The 2011 Foothill grad won her spot by sinking a 50-foot birdie putt on the fourth playoff hole.

Maxoutopoulis credited increased confidence gained during a strong final year at TCU, saying she had "grown tremendously" during that time.

As a senior, she earned three top-10 finishes, including taking third at the Big 12 conference tournament, and posted a team-best scoring average of 74.19 -- more than 2 strokes better than the season before. Her 29.22 putts-per-round mark ranked as one of the best in the nation.

"With what began by growing in my faith poured into every aspect of my life, especially my competition on the course," she said. "I had a lot of confidence and peace throughout the qualifying round. It was a great blessing to have qualified, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to be a light on the course and glorify the Lord with my talents."

Maxoutopoulis is set to begin a graduate program at Georgia Southern University this fall to earn a master's degree in public administration and serve as an assistant golf coach for the school's women's team.

Like her fellow Pleasanton competitor, Wang earned her U.S. Women's Amateur berth in a playoff.

After shooting a 73 in regulation at Kenwood Golf and Country Club in Bethesda, Md., on July 8, Wang found herself in a four-way tie with only three qualifying spots available. She advanced out of the sudden-death playoff.

The U.S. Women's Amateur is scheduled to start on Monday and run through Aug. 16 at Portland Golf Club. The tournament opens with two stroke-play rounds, from which the top 64 golfers will advance to a match-play bracket.

The Round of 64, and through to the championship match, will be broadcast nationally on FOX Sports 1. For more information, visit www.usga.org.

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