Sabrina Iqbal watches a shot on Friday at the California Women's Amateur
CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, CA (July 29, 2016) -- Anna Zhou and Sabrina Iqbal will square off for the title at the 50th California Women’s Amateur Championship, and they’ll do it on one of golf’s greatest stages.
Zhou, a sophomore at Harvard, and Iqbal, a junior at Pioneer High in San Jose, both punched their tickets to Saturday’s 18-hole final at Pebble Beach Golf Links by sweeping their quarterfinals and semifinals matches Friday at par-72 Quail Lodge Resort in Carmel Valley.
The No. 20 seeded Zhou, who hails from Palo Alto, earned her spot after knocking out No.9 Monica Matsubara via a 4 and 3 victory. Matsubara began the day by ousting No.1 seed Kathleen Scavo, 1-up, after Scavo double-bogeyed the 18th.
A finalist at the 2014 San Francisco City Amateur, Zhou took a 2-up lead after a birdie on the par-5 4th hole and never looked back. Matsubara, who was coming off a win at the recent CWC Championship, trimmed the lead to 1-up when Zhou bogeyed the 7th, but by the time the two reached the 11th tee Zhou’s lead was back to 3-up courtesy of a par and birdie win on the 9th and 10th holes, respectively.
In the morning quarterfinals, Zhou dispatched No.12 seed and defending NCGA Women’s Amateur winner Camille Orito with a 4 and 2 win. In all four of her matches, Zhou has never trailed.
While Zhou continued to cruise through the brackets, the No. 2 seeded Iqbal finally found herself severely tested in her quarterfinals match against No. 30 Gypsie Hutchinson. Through the first 14 holes, Iqbal either led or the match was all-square. On both holes No. 15 and No. 16, however, Hutchinson made birdie to go dormie. With her back against the wall, Iqbal responded with a birdie win on the par-3 17th and a par win on No. 18.
On the 19th hole (No.1), Iqbal again made a birdie while Hutchinson could only manage a par. Hutchinson’s birdie on the 15th marked the first time that Iqbal had ever trailed in a match.
In the afternoon semifinals, Iqbal got back to business. The recent NCGA Junior Championship winner took a 1-up lead with a birdie on the first hole and never gave it up. Zhu, a junior at Harker High, brought it back to all-square with a birdie on the 7th but two costly bogeys later handed Iqbal a 2-up lead through the 13th.
On the 15th, Iqbal made birdie to go 3-up. Zhu tried to mimic Iqbal’s quarterfinals comeback by making birdie on the 16th, but the two halved the 17th for a 2 and 1 Iqbal victory.
The championship, founded by women’s golf legend Helen Lengfeld in 1967, was annually held at Pebble Beach until 1987.
Former champions of the event include four-time winner and current LPGA Tour member Mina Harigae and Natalie Gulbis.
View results for California Women's Amateur Golf Championship