Olympia Fields, Ill. – Dottie Ardina, Ariya Jutanugarn, Amy Lee and Yu Liu advanced to Friday afternoon’s semifinal matches at the 2011 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, being conducted on the 6,403-yard, par-72 South Course at Olympia Fields Country Club.
The morning’s quarterfinal matches were interrupted by a two-hour, 13-minute rain delay that dropped nearly three-quarters of an inch of rain over the heat-baked South Course. The storm also brought some much needed relief from the week’s brutal heat wave.
Stroke-play medalist Jutanugarn, 15, of Thailand, opened with consecutive bogeys on the first two holes against fellow 15-year-old Gabriella Then. She never led in her match before the stoppage of play.
On the front nine, I wasn’t so good. I didn’t know what was going on, said Jutanugarn, who had lost to Then in a playoff at the 2011 Rolex Tournament of Champions. I didn’t know if my ball would lie right or left.
However, the rain delay came at an opportune moment for Jutanugarn. When the match resumed on the 10th hole, her game returned, and four birdies over the last eight holes gave her a 1-up victory.
Jutanugarn’s afternoon opponent will be 14-year-old Amy Lee, of Brea, Calif., who also took a tight match to the 18th green. When Talia Campbell three-putted from 6 feet for bogey, Lee was able to capture the final hole with a par for a 1-up victory.
Lee also credited the rain delay with helping her regain her confidence.
I was hitting the ball much better when I got out there, so I think the rain delay helped me, said Lee, whose only lead of the match came on the final hole.
While the first two quarterfinal matches were 18-hole nail biters, matches three and four were much more straightforward. Yu Liu, 15, of the People’s Republic of China, defeated 2008 runner-up Karen Chung, 6 and 5, while Filipino Dottie Ardina, 17, eliminated Summar Roachell by a 5-and-4 margin.
Everything was in good shape today, especially my putting, said Liu, the winner of the Under Armour/Vicky Hurst Championship. That was fabulous.
Ardina, who struggled throughout her match with blisters on her feet, felt like she didn’t play her best game, despite her large winning margin.
I had a lot of birdie chances, makeable putts. But they never went in, said Ardina, a two-time participant in the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship. I think Summar kind of struggled for some of the holes. … It’s just that I kept making easy pars and she kept making bogeys.
The 2011 U.S. Girls’ Junior will continue with the semifinal matches on Friday afternoon. The 36-hole championship final will be played Saturday.
The U.S. Girls’ Junior is one of 13 championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Christina Lance is a coordinator of championship communications for the USGA. Email questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Olympia Fields, Ill. – Results from Friday’s quarterfinal round of match play at the 2011 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, being conducted on the 6,403-yard, par-72 South Course at Olympia Fields Country Club (All times CDT):
Ariya Jutanugarn, Thailand (140) def. Gabriella Then, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (147), 1 up
Amy Lee, Brea, Calif. (149) def. Talia Campbell, Dallas, Texas (153), 1 up
People's Republic of China
(147) def. Karen Chung,
(148), 6 and 5
Dottie Ardina, Philippines (151) def. Summar Roachell, Conway, Ark. (148), 5 and 4
Olympia Fields, Ill. – Pairings for Friday’s semi round of match play at the 2011 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, being conducted on the 6,403-yard, par-72 South Course at Olympia Fields Country Club (All times CDT):
2:30 p.m.: Ariya Jutanugarn, Thailand (140) v. Amy Lee, Brea, Calif. (149)
2:15 p.m.: Yu Liu, People's Republic of China (147) v. Dottie Ardina, Philippines (151)