Isabella DiLisio competed for the last two days in the Valley Forge Invitational near her Hatfield home without expectations as the lone amateur and the only contestant still playing college golf.
“No one expects an amateur to play well in a professional event,” she said Friday. “I just kind of tried to play it one shot at a time, not even think about the cut or anything.”
But after a second straight solid round, DiLisio, who just completed her junior year at Notre Dame, looked at the scoreboard, did the math, and realized that she made the 36-hole cut and will compete Saturday in the final round of the Symetra Tour event at Raven’s Claw Golf Club.
DiLisio, a Mount St. Joseph’s Academy graduate, shot an efficient even-par 71 with two birdies and two bogeys to complete two rounds at 1-under 141, one stroke better than the cut figure.
“On my gosh, it’s huge,” she said. “I honestly wasn’t even thinking about it when I came into this. I just kind of like wanted to play solid and see what happened. But I played really well [Thursday] and then it’s like, ‘Oh, maybe I actually can make the cut.’
“I just tried to play solid today. I didn’t do anything too risky, just try to keep it in the fairway, hit it on the green, two-putt, keep it simple. I think that’s what I did. It’s pretty exciting.”
The other two Philadelphia-area players in the field did not fare as well. Darby-born Ginger Howard, who has a plethora of family members in the region, shot her second straight 73, while Emily Gimpel of Lafayette Hill carded four birdies in a round of 70 that left her at 148.
“I came into the week putting very well, so I was looking forward to it,” Howard said. “But my putting just really let me down for the past two days.”
“I made some more putts today, which was nice, and I struck the ball better,” Gimpel said. “I think I hit more greens today and gave myself more opportunities for birdie.”