CARMEL, Ind. (Aug. 10, 2007)-- Twelve-year-old Alexis Thompson of Coral Springs, Fla., was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur but defending champion Kimberly Kim, 15, of Hilo, Hawaii, survived a tough match to advance to the semifinals at the 6,595-yard, par-72 Crooked Stick Golf Club.
Thompson, the youngest quarterfinalist in the 106-year history of the championship, lost to Ha Na Jang, 15, of Korea, 5 & 4. Jang birdied five of the first eight holes and was 4-up after the 10th hole.
“I’m really happy (about) how far I made it in this,” said Thompson after losing her match. “But I was playing so good each and every day and I was going to have an off-round sooner or later.”
Kim went to the 21st hole before making a 25-foot birdie putt to win her match against Jennifer Song, 17, of Korea. Song birdied three of the first five holes and was 2-up but Kim also made three birdies and squared the match at the 5th hole.
At the 18th, Kim hit the green in regulation figures and parred. Song played a beautiful soft bunker shot to within a foot of the hole, also made par, and the match went into extra holes. Kim’s birdie at the 21st clinched a berth in Saturday’s semifinals against Amanda Blumenhurst, at 20, the oldest contestant remaining in the championship.
Blumenhurst, of Scottsdale, Ariz., defeated her Duke teammate, Jennie Lee, 20, of Henderson, Nev., 5 & 4. Blumenhurst won easily. She played 5-under-par golf, with the usual match-play concessions, for the 14 holes of the match. Blumenhurst faces Kim in Saturday’s semifinal.
“I’ll just try to keep it going,” Blumenhurst said. “I’m playing really well and I have a lot of confidence in my game and my ability to play match play. It looks good.”
Jang faces Maria Uribe, 17, of Columbia, who defeated Mina Harigae, 17, of Monterey, Calif., 5 & 4. Uribe birdied five of the first nine holes, taking a 4-up advantage.
“I never gave up,” said Harigae, the 2007 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links champion. “I always thought I could bring it back.”
But Harigae made a strategic mistake when she made a bogey at the par-4 12th hole, and Uribe went 5-up, then hung on to win.
“Today, my game was on,” said Uribe. “She was a really good player, and I respect her a lot because she’s one of the best here. I knew I had to play really good to stay in the match.”
The two winners of Saturday’s semi-final matches will advance to Sunday’s 36-hole final.
--Story by Rhonda Glenn, USGA