Seong, Uriell, Ha, Jo Advance To WAPL Semifinals


Cindy Ha continued her consistent play with a 3-and-2 triumph over Sirene Blair in Friday's quarterfinals. (USGA/Steven Gibbons)
By Christina Lance, USGA
July 18, 2014

DUPONT, Wash. – Cindy Ha, Fumie Alice Jo, Eun Jeong Seong and Alana Uriell have reached the semifinals of the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, being conducted at The Home Course.

In the quarterfinals, Ha, 17, of Demarest, N.J., continued her smooth play at the 6,169-yard, par-72 course. Her birdie at the par-4 second hole gave her a 1-up lead over Sirene Blair, 19, of South Jordan, Utah, and she stretched the advantage to 3 up through eight holes.

However, Blair battled back, winning the ninth hole and then capitalizing when Ha sent her tee shot out of bounds at the 10th.

But Ha was not to be stopped. She won the par-3 14th to go 2 up, and her birdie at the par-5 16th gave her the 3-and-2 victory.

“I feel comfortable and confident,” said Ha, a member of New Jersey’s winning team at the 2013 USGA Women’s State Team Championship. “Nothing is rattling me. Even if I lose a hole, I stay calm throughout the round.”

Seong, 14, of the Republic of Korea, had trailed early in her three previous matches. Her quarterfinal match with 2013 WAPL runner-up Doris Chen, 21, of Bradenton, Fla., however, was a different story. Seong birdied the par-4 first hole to take an immediate lead over Chen, one that she never relinquished.

Chen never let Seong earn more than a 2-up lead. However, with Seong 1 up on the 18th green, Chen missed a birdie putt that would have sent the match to extra holes.

Uriell, Seong’s semifinal opponent, needed 20 holes to eliminate reigning U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Gabriella Then, 18, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. It was a seesaw match, with both players holding the lead at one point.

Jo, 15, of the People’s Republic of China, continued her quiet march through the match-play bracket. Jo eliminated Dominique Galloway, 16, of Rio Rancho, N.M., by a 3-and-2 margin. Jo, who will meet Ha in the semis, never trailed en route to victory.

All four players have reached the semifinals for the first time in a USGA championship. Ha advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2013 WAPL. Seong and Uriell have never before reached match play, while Jo is playing in her first USGA championship.

The winner and runner-up will both receive exemptions into the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, which will be held Aug. 4-10 at Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove, N.Y. They will also receive exemptions into the 2014 U.S. Girls’ Junior, to be held July 21-26 at Forest Highlands Golf Club in Flagstaff, Ariz. Seong and Ha have already qualified for the Girls' Junior. Seong has also qualified for the Women's Amateur. 

Christina Lance is the assistant manager of championship communications for the USGA. Email her at clance@usga.org.

Results

DUPONT, Wash. – Results from Friday morning’s quarterfinal round of match play at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, being conducted at The Home Course (6,169 yards, par 72):

Upper Bracket

Eun Jeong Seong, Republic of Korea (134) def. Doris Chen, Bradenton, Fla. (145), 1 up
Alana Uriell, Carlsbad, Calif. (138) def. Gabriella Then, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (138), 20 holes

Lower Bracket

Cindy Ha, Demarest, N.J. (139) def. Sirene Blair, South Jordan, Utah (142), 3 and 2
Fumie (Alice) Jo, People's Republic of China (144) def. Dominique Galloway, Rio Rancho, N.M. (138), 3 and 2

DUPONT, Wash. – Pairings for Friday afternoon’s semifinal round of match play at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, being conducted at The Home Course (all times PDT):

Upper Bracket

1:45 p.m. – Eun Jeong Seong, Republic of Korea (134) vs. Alana Uriell, Carlsbad, Calif. (138)

Lower Bracket

1 p.m. – Cindy Ha, Demarest, N.J. (139) vs. Fumie (Alice) Jo, People's Republic of China (144)

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