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Wiley makes cut at Women's Public Links

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By Todd Martin

With a two-day score of 160, Candice Wiley was right on the cusp of making the cut at the Women's Public Links Tournament Tuesday.

In fact, she was so close that she and seven other golfers were forced to play a play-off hole. The top seven of the eight would make the cut.

"I knew it would be close when I finished my round," she said. "I kept sitting there hitting (refresh) on the computer to see the scores. Finally, I said 'Mom, we have to go back to the golf course.' When we got there they were still playing, and I was bouncing back and forth between in and out."

The top 64 golfers would advance to match play, and when the cut was finally made, Wiley found herself right in the middle of it.

"They came out and said the cut was 160, but they had eight girls for seven spots," she said. "So we had to play a play-off hole, and we all voted to go ahead and play it that night."

The pressure, however, was nothing for Wiley. She was the only player to birdie the hole, winning the playoff and ensuring a spot in the match-play tournament.

"I barely, barely made the cut, but my goal the whole time was to make the cut and advance to match play," she said. "So I was really, really excited about that."

The win put Wiley playing against Mayule Tomimbang, of Kissimmee, Fla., in match play Wednesday. Tomimbang finished stroke play five-shots off the lead with a 144.

The two were all square through three holes, but Tomimbang won Nos. 4-6 before Wiley picked a stroke back up on No. 7.

But No. 9 spelled doom for Wiley. Trailing by two strokes, she ended up with a double-bogey to Tomimbang's par on No. 9, putting her four strokes behind. She ended up falling 5&4 on No. 14, meaning that Tomimbang had won five holes with four to play, ending any chance she had of a comeback.

"I thought I hit the ball well all week," Wiley said. "There were just a few flares here and there that hurt me. Really, I only gave up one hole where she didn't have to work for it (No. 9). There were a couple of holes where (Tomimbang) chipped in for birdie, and I was sitting there waiting to take my birdie putt. And of course, I missed it. But that's how it goes. She played a really good round."

Despite the loss in the first-round of match play, Wiley still hit her goal of making the cut in the prestigious national tournament.

"It was a really good experience," she said. "I made my goal, and that's a pretty big deal. This is a big tournament, and I was really proud of the way I played."