Neshanic Station, N.J. – Alice Jeong of Gardena, Calif., Kyung Kim of Chandler, Ariz., Kim Kaufman of Clark, S.D., and Ashlan Ramsey of Milledgeville, Ga., advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship on Friday morning at the 6,221-yard, par-72 Neshanic Valley Golf Course.
Jeong, 17, will play Kim, 18, and Kaufman, 20, faces Ramsey, 16, Friday afternoon to decide the players for Saturday’s 36-hole final.
Jeong defeated 2011 WAPL semifinalist Annie Park, 17, of Levittown, N.Y., 4 and 2.
Jeong took a 3-up lead at the ninth hole. A birdie on the 11th gave her a 4-up margin. Park got one hole back with a par on the 15th when Jeong made a double bogey.
“I tried to play it safe with a 3-wood off the tee, but I topped it into the water,” Jeong said. “But I knew giving up one hole wouldn’t put me in a bad spot.”
At the par-4 16th hole, Jeong’s par won the match when Park made a bogey.
“Overwhelming,” Jeong said of the match.
In another hard-fought contest, Kyung Kim defeated 16-year-old Lakareber Abe of Angleton, Texas, 1 up. With the usual match-play concessions, Kim was five under par for the match.
Kim said she played really well and has surpassed her expectations. “My goal this week was to make it past the round of 32 because I’ve never done that in a USGA championship,” she said.
Kaufman won, 2 and 1, over 2012 NCAA Division I individual champion Chirapat Jao-Javanil, 19, of Thailand.
Kaufman made four birdies against two for Jao-Javanil and closed out her opponent on the 17th green. At 20, Kaufman is the oldest remaining contestant in the championship. She’s a rising senior at Texas Tech University. Jao-Javanil will be a junior at the University of Oklahoma.
Ramsey defeated Grace Na, 19, of Anaheim, Calif., 3 and 1. Ramsey, a rising high school senior, was 3 up after 12 holes. Na rallied briefly with a birdie on the 14th. Ramsey was dormie-2 at the 17th when she made her fourth birdie of the day to win the match.
“Ashland outplayed me today,” Na said. “I was even par, but it is what it is. She was consistent. She hit a lot of fairways and greens.”
At the scoreboard, Ramsey, unaware of Na’s comment, concurred. “I try to hit a lot of fairways and greens,” she said. “I’m trying to play it match by match.”
With thunderstorms developing to the southeast and west of the golf course, USGA officials are watching the skies as the afternoon’s semifinals get underway.
“We hope to get the matches in,” said Teresa Belmont, USGA director, U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship. “There’s the potential of thunderstorms before 5 p.m., so we’re going to keep an eye on it.”
Rhonda Glenn is a manager of communications for the USGA. E-mail her at email@example.com.