CARMEL, Ind. (Aug. 9, 2007)-- USA Curtis Cup and NCAA Division I championship teammates Amanda Blumenherst of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Jennie Lee of Henderson, Nev., led a group of 16 players who advanced Thursday to the third round of match play of the 2007 U.S. Women’s Amateur at Crooked Stick Golf Club.
Blumenherst, a 20-year-old Duke University junior, defeated 2006 Curtis Cup teammate Jenny Suh, of Fairfax, Va., 5 and 4.
She was the stroke-play equivalent of 5-under-par through 14 holes and never trailed in dispatching Suh, who defeated her last month in the semifinals of the 2007 North and South Women’s Amateur.
"I just was playing well today,” Blumenherst said. “She played great. I just had a good day.”
Blumenherst, who also represented the USA at the 2006 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship, took a 4-up lead through eight holes with birdies on holes 2, 5, 7 and a bogey by Suh on the 8th. Suh birdied 10 to cut the lead to 3 up but Blumenherst birdied 13 and 14 for the win.
Blumenherst, who finished fourth individually this past spring when Duke won its third consecutive NCAA team championship, has Indiana roots and was followed a sizeable contingent of family and friends. “You mean the bus full of Blumenhersts,” Suh said kiddingly.
Lee, also a 20-year-old Duke junior, defeated Auburn senior Margaret Shirley, 21, of Roswell, Ga., 3 & 1.
Shirley gained a 2-up lead through six holes but Lee, who played on the 2006 USA Curtis Cup and World Amateur teams as well as the 2007 Copa de las Americas team, won four of the next six holes to a 2-up edge. She was the equivalent of even par through 17 holes.
"It was a tough match,” said Lee, of defeating Shirley who beat co-medalist Stacy Lewis. “Just getting through each match is tough. I was down and I got it back up. It feels good to be through two matches.”
Lee, who was tied for 7th at the 2007 NCAAs and the runner-up in 2006, is playing in her fourth U.S. Amateur.
"I feel pretty good,” Lee said. “I’ve made some putts and I’ve gotten to know the course a little bit better too. Hopefully, I can use those things for my next matches.”
In other matches of note, defending champion Kimberly Kim, of Hilo, Hawaii, survived with a 20-hole victory over Rikako Morita of Japan; co-medalist Kristina Wong of Vestal, N.Y., was eliminated by Vicky Hurst, of Melbourne, Fla., 3 and 1; 2007 Women’s Amateur Public Links champion Mina Harigae, of Monterey, Calif., made short work of Rebecca Kim of Tigard, Ore., 4 and 3; and North and South Women’s Amateur champion Alison Walshe of Westford, Mass., beat Catherine O’Donnell, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., 6 and 5.
--Story by Pete Kowalski, USGA