Notre Dame, Ind. -- Emily Tubert, 18, of Burbank, Calif., and Lisa McCloskey, 18, of Houston advanced to the final of the 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links at the 6,092-yard, par-71 Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame.
In Friday’s semifinals, Tubert defeated Sara Grantham, of Wilsonville, Ala., on the 19th hole and McCloskey defeated Ellen Mueller, of Bartlesville, Okla., 3 and 2.
McCloskey will meet Tubert in Saturday’s scheduled 36-hole final for the championship, starting at 7:30 a.m. EDT.
Tubert, who graduated from high school last month, was 1 up when a surprising turnaround on the 490-yard, par-5 10th hole squared the match. The long-hitting Tubert hit the green in two but three-putted for a par and Grantham made a scrappy birdie to win the hole.
With the match still square, Tubert hit the green of the par-5 17th hole in two shots and again three-putted for a par. This time, her par won the hole.
Grantham squared the match with a par at the 18th when Tubert missed the green, hit her chip shot fat, and made a bogey. The match ended on the first hole, the 19th of the match, when Grantham missed the green, chipped past the hole and bogeyed. Tubert was on the green of the par-4 in two strokes, but sailed her 35-foot first putt three feet past the hole. After backing away from the putt twice, she made it for a par to win the match.
Tubert, who backed away from several shots in the closing holes, said, That was the longest 3-footer of my life. I felt the nerves, I just wanted to make sure I could hit the shots. I could feel the adrenaline and I knew it would affect my play, so I took my time.
McCloskey lost the second hole in her match with Mueller but by the 5th she had taken a 1-up lead that she wouldn’t relinquish. McCloskey captured the sixth and 13th holes with pars, and then birdied the par-3 14th to go 4 up.
Number 14 was big because that put me dormie-4 and I didn’t have to push anything, McCloskey said.
Mueller’s par won the 15th when McCloskey missed a short putt to reduce the margin to 3 up, but Mueller ran out of holes and the match ended on the 16th green.
It’s a good thing I had that cushion, McCloskey said.
The finalists are both making their first appearance in this championship, but McCloskey, who will be a freshman at USC in the fall, has the edge in competitive experience. She has played in the U.S. Women’s Amateur and was a quarterfinalist in the 2008 U.S. Girls’ Junior, where she was medalist, shooting 63 in one of the stroke-play rounds.
Tubert is a newcomer to match play. She played in the 2006 U.S. Girls’ Junior but missed the cut. A golfer for just five years, she will attend the University of Arkansas on a golf scholarship.
I’ve been playing catch-up because I started at 13, kind of late compared to most girls today, Tubert said. I’ve always felt like the underdog, but making the final gives me confidence. This will be my first 36-hole match.
Tubert ended Grantham’s role as giant killer. Grantham, who says she is five feet tall, on a good day, defeated Cydney Clanton, the lone remaining USA Curtis Cup player in the field, 1 up, in the morning quarterfinals. Both Clanton and Tubert towered over Grantham, Tubert by a foot.
McCloskey advanced to the semifinal with a 1-up quarterfinal victory over Brianna Do of Vietnam. Tubert eased past Victoria Sungmin Park of Irvine, Calif., on the 19th hole of their quarterfinal match. Mueller defeated Martina Gavier of Argentina, 2 and 1, to advance to the semifinals.
The U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links is one of 13 national championships conducted by the United States Golf Association. Ten are strictly for amateurs.
Notre Dame, Ind. – Friday’s results from the quarterfinal and semifinal matches at the 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links being played at the 6,092-yard, par-71 Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame.
Sara Grantham, Wilsonville, Ala. (146) def. Cydney Clanton, Concord, N.C. (145), 1 up
Emily Tubert, Burbank, Calif. (141) def. Victoria Sungmin Park, Irvine, Calif. (151), 19 holes
Ellen Mueller, Bartlesville, Okla. (146) def. Martina Gavier, Argentina (137), 2 and 1
Lisa McCloskey, Houston, Texas (147) def. Brianna Do, Vietnam (151), 1 up
Tubert def. Grantham, 19 holes
McCloskey def. Mueller, 3 and 2
Notre Dame, Ind. – The pairing and starting times for Saturday’s 36-hole championship match at the 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links being played at the 6,092-yard, par-71 Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame. (All times EDT)
7:30 a.m. and Noon: Emily Tubert, Burbank, Calif. (141) vs. Lisa McCloskey, Houston, Texas (147)