Notre Dame, Ind. – Cydney Clanton, 20, defeated the medalist, Ariya Jutanugarn, 14, of Thailand, on Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship at the 6,092-yard, par-71 Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame.
Carrying her own golf bag through two grueling matches, Clanton defeated Jutanugarn, 1 up, when the youngster’s desperate chip for a par spun out of the hole on the 18th hole.
It was a good win, said Clanton, the only remaining 2010 USA Curtis Cup player in the championship. We battled back and forth and we made a few errors on the course, but most of the holes were won with birdies.
Also advancing to the quarterfinals were Brianna Do of Vietnam, Emily Tubert of Burbank, Calif., Sara Grantham of Wilsonville, Ala., Victoria Sungmin Park of Irvine, Calif., No. 2 seed Martina Gavier of Argentina, Lisa McCloskey of Houston, Texas, and Ellen Mueller of Bartlesville, Okla. None of the remaining players has won a USGA championship.
The Clanton-Jutanugarn match was a battle of bombers, with the former a bit longer off the tee, especially when Jutanugarn began driving into the right rough on the closing holes. Jutanugarn’s birdie at the 15th squared the match but she found the right rough on the last three holes.
All square at the par-4 18th, Jutanugarn drove into foot-high fescue right of the fairway. A mighty swing moved her ball only 10 feet. Still in the fescue, she hit her third just short of the green. Clanton was on the green with her second shot, 15 feet from the hole.
Jutanugarn’s chip for a par spun around the hole, glanced off the flagstick and stopped on the lip. Clanton two-putted for a par to win.
Clanton trudged to a waiting golf cart after carrying her bag 33 holes, a routine she plans to continue. I think I’ll be fine after today, said the Auburn University senior. I’m just a little tired but I’m not worried about walking 36 holes [on Friday]. I’ve carried my bag six or seven days in a row.
Jutanugarn, who tied the championship stroke-play qualifying record of 135, added: I think this week my game has been really nice, especially in qualifying, but this round was not very good.
Clanton’s USA Curtis Cup teammates, Stephanie Kono and Kimberly Kim, were not so fortunate as both lost in the afternoon’s third round. Kono fell to her UCLA teammate, 20-year-old Do, 3 and 2. Earlier in the day, Kono went 23 holes to defeat Candace Schepperle, 23, of Birmingham, Ala.
Kim, of Hilo, Hawaii, lost to Park, 2 and 1. It was a big win for Park. Kim was twice runner-up in this championship (2006 and 2009) and won the 2006 U.S. Women’s Amateur.
I had some pressure playing Kimberly, said Park, but I tried not to think about that. I tried to focus on my game. I tried not to let myself get down and that really helped me.
Kim got off to a rough start with three straight bogeys and Park took a 1-up lead. Park went 3 up at the 10th hole. Kim won the 12th with a par to reduce the margin to 2 up, but soon ran out of holes and the match ended on the 17th green.
In Friday’s quarterfinal round, Clanton plays the 21-year-old Grantham, who has never advanced beyond the first round and attends the University of Mississippi. Park faces 18-year-old Tubert, an incoming freshman at the University of Arkansas.
Gavier, who defeated Caroline Powers of Bowling Green, Ohio, on the 21st hole in the third round, will play against the University of Oklahoma's Mueller, who reached the third round of the 2008 U.S. Women’s Amateur. Earlier in the day Gavier went 23 holes to defeat local favorite Becca Huffer of Denver, Colo., a student at Notre Dame.
Do faces 18-year-old McCloskey, who recently transferred from Pepperdine to the University of Southern California. Earlier on Thursday, McCloskey defeated future Trojan teammate and roommate Lizette Salas of Azusa, Calif. McCloskey also was the medalist in the 2008 U.S. Girls’ Junior, where she fired a round of 63.
The U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links continues with the quarterfinals and semifinals on Friday and a scheduled 36-hole final on Saturday. It’s one of 13 national championships conducted by the United States Golf Association. Ten are strictly for amateurs.
Notre Dame, Ind. – Thursday’s results from the second and third rounds of match play at the 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship being held at the 6,092, par-71 Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame:
Round of 32
Ariya Jutanugarn, Thailand (137) def. Karen Chung, Livingston, N.J. (147), 3 and 1
Cydney Clanton, Concord, N.C. (145) def. Kelli Oride, Lihue, Hawaii (150), 5 and 3
Allie White, Lancaster, Ohio (148) def. Bonnie Hu, Fremont, Calif. (151), 1 up
Sara Grantham, Wilsonville, Ala. (146) def. Janine Fellows, Houston, Texas (144), 1 up
Victoria Sungmin Park, Irvine, Calif. (151) def. Mercedes Germino, Argentina (146), 19 holes
Kimberly Kim, Hilo, Hawaii (144) def. Gyeol Park, Korea (149), 4 and 3
Emily Tubert, Burbank, Calif. (141) def. Anna Kim, Canada (146), 4 and 3
Annie Park, Levittown, N.Y. (151) def. Tiffany Lim, San Jose, Calif. (145), 1 up
Martina Gavier, Argentina (137) def. Becca Huffer, Denver, Colo. (147), 20 holes
Caroline Powers, Bowling Green, Ohio (150) def. Alice Kim, Walnut, Calif. (145), 3 and 1
Ellen Mueller, Bartlesville, Okla. (146) def. Nicole Zhang, Canada (144), 2 and 1
Joy Trotter, Chino Hills, Calif. (146) def. Victoria Fallgren, Lakewood, Calif. (151), 5 and 4
Lisa McCloskey, Houston, Texas (147) def. Lizette Salas, Azusa, Calif. (138), 4 and 2
Rachel Rohanna, Waynesburg, Pa. (144) def. Lakareber Abe, Angleton, Texas (150), 4 and 3
Brianna Do, Vietnam (151) def. Kelly Fuchik, Tulsa, Okla. (156), 3 and 2
Stephanie Kono, Honolulu, Hawaii (145) def. Candace Schepperle, Birmingham, Ala. (144), 23 holes
Round of 16
Clanton def. Jutanugarn, 1 up
Grantham def. White, 1 up
V. Park def. K. Kim, 2 and 1
Tubert vs. A. Park, 4 and 3
Gavier def. Powers, 21 holes
Mueller def. Trotter, 3 and 2
McCloskey def. Rohanna, 6 and 5
Do def. Kono, 3 and 2
Notre Dame, Ind. – Pairings and starting times for Friday’s quarterfinal 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. (All times EDT)
7:30 a.m.: Cydney Clanton, Concord, N.C. (145) vs. Sara Grantham, Wilsonville, Ala. (146)
7:40 a.m.: Victoria Sungmin Park, Irvine, Calif. (151) vs. Emily Tubert, Burbank, Calif. (141)
7:50 a.m.: Martina Gavier, Argentina (137) vs. Ellen Mueller, Bartlesville, Okla. (146)
8 a.m.: Lisa McCloskey, Houston, Texas (147) vs. Brianna Do, Vietnam (151)