FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Cindy Ha, Princess Mary Superal, Marijosse Navarro and Shelly Shin advanced to the semifinals of the 2014 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship by winning quarterfinal matches on Friday morning at Forest Highlands Golf Club.
All four of the quarterfinal matches on Friday went the distance, with two matches requiring an extra hole to determine the winner.
Ha, 17, of Demarest, N.J., built a 4-up lead at the turn over Brigitte Dunne, 17, of Camarillo, Calif. But Ha’s bogey to lose the par-4 10th sparked a Dunne comeback. She took Nos. 13 and 15 with birdies, and squared the match with a 30-foot birdie at No. 17.
“I looked confident on the outside, but on the inside I was pretty nervous,” said Ha, who also reached the semifinals at last week’s U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links. “It was just a heartbreaker on some holes.”
Dunne’s momentum ultimately ended when she missed the 18th green and found the right greenside bunker. With Ha safely on in three, Dunne’s chip rolled 7 feet past the hole. Ha’s 40-footer for birdie rolled 5 feet by, and Dunne’s par attempt just skimmed the edge of the hole.
Ha will next face Superal, 17, of the Philippines, who drained a 6-foot birdie on the first extra hole to eliminate 2013 semifinalist Bethany Wu, 17, of Diamond Bar, Calif. Neither Superal nor Wu were able to gain more than a 1-up advantage during their back-and-forth match.
“I really didn’t expect anything today,” said Superal, a member of the Philippine National Team who won the 2014 Kuala Lumpur Open. “I just told myself to play my game, do my best and enjoy the day.”
Navarro, a three-time Women’s Mexican Amateur champion and 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur quarterfinalist, knocked in a 4-foot birdie at 18 to beat Andrea Lee, 15, of Hermosa Beach, Calif. She will meet Australian National Team junior member Shin in the other semifinal on Friday afternoon. The 16-year-old holed a 5-foot birdie on the 19th hole to beat Binny Lee, 15, of Frisco, Texas.
The finalists will both receive exemptions into the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, to be conducted Aug. 4-10 at Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove, N.Y. Navarro and Superal have already qualified for the championship. The winner will also receive an exemption into the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur, to be held at Portland (Ore.) Country Club.
The winner receives an exemption into all remaining U.S. Girls’ Juniors through her 18th birthday, while the runner-up receives a three-year exemption.
Christina Lance is an assistant manager of communications for the USGA. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Results from Friday’s quarterfinal round of match play at the 2014 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, being conducted on the Meadow Course at the 6,718-yard, par-72 Forest Highlands Golf Club:
Cindy Ha, Demarest, N.J. (145) def. Brigitte Dunne, Camarillo, Calif. (148), 1 up
Princess Mary Superal, Philippines (142) def. Bethany Wu, Diamond Bar, Calif. (142), 19 holes
Marijosse Navarro, Mexico (136) def. Andrea Lee, Hermosa Beach, Calif. (143), 1 up
Shelly Shin, Australia (147) def. Binny Lee, Frisco, Texas (150), 19 holes
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Pairings for Friday’s quarterfinal round of match play at the 2014 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, being conducted on the Meadow Course at the 6,718-yard, par-72 Forest Highlands Golf Club (all times MST):
12:15 p.m. – Cindy Ha, Demarest, N.J. (145) vs. Princess Mary Superal, Philippines (142)
12:25 p.m. – Marijosse Navarro, Mexico (136) vs. Shelly Shin, Australia (147)