Carson, Hamilton finish play at U.S. Women’s Amateur

ECU Pirates

Kathryn Carson and Riley Hamilton (ECU Sports Information photo)

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RYE, N.Y. – Fifth-year senior Kathryn Carson and redshirt freshman Riley Hamilton concluded play at the 2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur at the Westchester Country Club on Tuesday.

Carson finished with a 36-hole score of 10-over 154 (79-75) and Hamilton carded a 16-over 160 (84-76). Carson pared 23 holes and birdied two others overall, while Hamilton produced four birdies and 10 pars in round two and closed out her tournament by shooting 1-under-par on the final nine holes.

“Kathryn and Riley put in so much work this summer – and I’m thrilled for them to have represented East Carolina at the United States Women’s Amateur,” ECU head coach CC Buford said. “This field includes some of the world’s top-ranked players, NCAA champions, junior champions, and my hope is they know that kind of company is where they belong.

“The last Pirate in the field was Katie Kirk in 2014, and to have 2 qualify this summer reflected the program we are building. I am extremely proud of the way these girls handled themselves on the biggest stage in amateur golf and can’t wait to get started with them this upcoming season.

Carson enters her final year of eligibility ranked fifth all-time at ECU with a 74.95 strokes per round average. She has registered four Top 10 and 11 Top 20 finishes as a member of the women’s golf team. She also owns the 11th and 13th lowest single-season scoring averages in school history.

“Kathryn has been hitting the ball so well all summer and I know she is disappointed that her scores didn’t reflect that,” Buford said. “She brings some great momentum as our collegiate season will begin in just a few short weeks.”

Hamilton enters the 2021-22 season with four years of eligibility remaining after taking a redshirt last season. She was a three-time all-state performer at Rockingham County High School and helped the Cougars win the 2019 NCHSAA 3A title. Hamilton also captured an individual state championship, winning the 2018 Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) Division II championship at Carlisle High School.

“Riley had an incredible bounce back after day one,” Buford stated. “The atmosphere of a USGA Championship is different than any other and makes it challenging to prepare for. For her to be -3 in the middle of her second round shows what she’s capable of doing for the Pirates this season.”

Carson and Hamilton are among five returnees for ECU this season along with all-conference performers Julie Boysen Hillestad, Caroline Hermes and Oda Sofie Kilsti. They will be joined by incoming freshmen Macie Burcham, Andrea Miralles Llopis, and Grayson Warren.

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