U.S. WOMEN'S AMATEUR
Quotable: Round-of-32 Winners August 10, 2017 | Chula Vista, Calif. By USGA

Lucy Li registered seven birdies in beating 2016 USA Curtis Cup competitor and UCLA standout Bethany Wu, 6 and 5, in the Round of 32. (USGA/Steven Gibbons)

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Competitors in the 117th U.S. Women's Amateur Championship who prevailed in their Round-of-32 matches on Thursday morning at San Diego Country Club had little time to bask in the glory of their triumphs. The players had time to grab lunch and hit a few practice putts or shots before refocusing for their afternoon Round-of-16 matches. But before they teed off, the USGA got a few comments from some of the winners:

Lucy Li def. Bethany Wu, 6 and 5

On making seven birdies in 13 holes: “It was great. The last couple of holes I wasn’t trying that hard but they just went in, so I guess I was just putting really well today. “I was confident after I played really well yesterday, but I didn’t expect to make that many birdies.”

On what particular birdie stood out: “The one on No. 9 was really good, from about 20 feet.”

On comparing this round to any other: “In June, I shot 64 in the practice round at Rolex Girls. I shot 64, but I had a hole-in-one and made six birdies. So I might have made more birdies in a shorter stretch of holes today.”

Robynn Ree def. Tze Han Lin, 9 and 8

On her large margin of victory: “Honestly, I didn’t have any expectations for this round, I just wanted to play my best. Luckily, I was able to make some putts and I didn’t make any big mistakes.

“I had a 10-and-8 victory with Hannah O’Sullivan in the [2015] U.S. Four-Ball in Oregon. This is my first one individual like this."

On being 4 under par through 10 holes with the usual match-play concessions: “First hole, I was in the middle of the fairway and hit a pitching wedge. The pin was tucked. I just wanted to get myself in good position and not have a tricky putt. I hit it in the middle and it went at the pin and had a 9-footer."

On her goals for her Round-of-16 match Thursday afternoon: “I’m just hoping that I continue with this kind of putting and this momentum. Hopefully I’ll have a good result at the end as well.”

Shannon Aubert def. Agathe Laisne, 2 and 1

On her overall performance: “I started off pretty good then I just wasn’t hitting it great, even on the range this morning. I hit some bad shots. Luckily, I made some good up-and-downs, which I helped.”

On stepping up her game over the final seven holes: “Once we got to 10 and we both bogeyed 10, I think we went, ‘We’re both better than this.’ Both of us started playing really well. We both hit it to 10 feet on 11, both missed. Both birdied 12. Both hit it inside 10 feet on 13, but the pin’s so tough. That was a little tricky. (Laisne three-putted to make a bogey and lose the hole.) She was above the hole, and it just skidded by."

On playing her fellow countrywoman from France: “It’s always tough playing someone who you know and someone you root for. She’s an incredible player. Last week, she won the European [Ladies] Am. It was tough. But at the end of the day, when you get to these kind of competitions, you kind of have to expect to play some of your friends. At that point, everyone just wants to play well. It’s nothing personal.”

On not having her best stuff, yet still producing a win: “I won’t think about it too much. A win’s a win, and this afternoon’s a whole new thing.”  

Albane Valenzuela, a 2016 Olympian for Switzerland, outlasted Texan Cheyenne Knight, 1 up, in the Round of 32 on Thursday. (USGA/Steven Gibbons)

Albane Valenzuela def. Cheyenne Knight, 1 up

On making a 10-footer for par to halve the 17th hole: “That was great. I kind of struggled with my putting on the first nine holes. I had very good looks for birdie and didn’t make them. They were good rolls and I didn’t have quite the right break. Then I made a birdie putt from about 3 or 4 meters on 14 that got me going. Then that putt on 17, I knew that was going to make the difference. I played it very aggressively and it went in. I hit my chip well, I thought it was going to release a little. It was kind of a bummer. Otherwise, you never know what is going to happen on 18.” 

On closing the match out on 18 with a two-putt from 45 feet, making a 4-footer after Knight made her comebacker for par from 15 feet: “That was a slick one. You can forget how slick they can be. But I just tried to give myself an uphill putt for par.”

On advancing to the Round of 16: “Winning gives me a lot of confidence, but at the same time, match play is one round at a time, so I don’t focus too much on the future. I try to do my best each match and stay very focused and play one match at a time.”

Karen Miyamoto def. Virginia Elena Carta, 2 and 1

On beating the 2016 runner-up: “I played my game. It was not too windy, better conditions than yesterday, so I could just play my golf. The greens were softer than yesterday, so it was easier that way. The pin locations I think were easier than yesterday, too.”

On getting off to a strong start with a pitching-wedge approach to a foot: “On No. 1, my second shot almost went in the hole. That was a really good shot. I had confidence after that.”

Gigi Stoll def. Elizabeth Bose, 2 up

On the overall match: “I kind of got ahead early. I had good momentum going into the back nine. I lost a little bit of my momentum on 12. I three-putted from pretty short range and she made par so I lost the hole. I lost the next hole too. I kind of lost my groove there but got it back and held on to it."

On earning a crucial halve on the par-5 16th hole: “I made a pretty clutch putt from about seven feet for par, and she had about the same length for birdie and she missed it. That was good momentum in my favor. It was a good save. Momentum is a huge thing in match play, so to get momentum in match play so get momentum early in the afternoon would be huge.

On reaching the Round of 16 in her first Women's Amateur: “I played my [first] match in 20 holes and this one went to 18. The pressure hasn’t gotten to me. I really enjoy it, and it’s fun to be out here.”

Isabella Fierro def. Yuka Saso, 1 up

On pulling a tight match against a semifinalist from 2016: “The match was all square a lot of the time. Yuka played awesome. She is a great player. The key was to stay patient for the whole 18 holes. I was going to lose my head sometimes, but then I would tell myself that this is match play. Anything can happen."

On the key shot of the match: "It might have been the tee shot on the par-3 11th. I hit my 8-iron to a few inches. That was probably my best shot of the day. It gave me a lot of confidence."

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