Charlotte, N.C. (Aug. 12, 2010) -– Stroke-play tri-medalist Erynne Lee, 17, of Silverdale, Wash., won two matches on a hot and humid day at Charlotte Country Club Thursday to headline the 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship quarterfinalists.
Lee, who earned a tough 1-up decision over Moriya Jutanugarn, 16, of Thailand during the second round Thursday morning at the par-72, 6,559-yard Charlotte C.C., recorded a 3-and-1 victory over Lizette Salas, 21, of Azusa, Calif., in the afternoon.
“It was tiring, definitely, two rounds,” said Lee, the lone stroke-play medalist remaining in the field. “Today was a really good day. I played solid all day. Compared to yesterday, it was much more satisfying, more relieving. The second match with Lizette, not having to trail was also pretty relaxing because you don’t have to work as hard trying to get back on your feet.”
A semifinalist at the 2008 U.S. Women’s Amateur at 15 years old, Lee said that experience was helpful, but also admitted to having much higher expectations than she did two years ago.
“It felt like I had nothing to lose, so I didn’t really realize how far I was going,” said Lee. “Now it’s a different situation because now that I’ve gotten older and more mature, there’s a lot more to go after. You have to take it one match at a time.”
Lee’s quarterfinal opponent will be Jessica Korda, 17, of Bradenton, Fla., who advanced to the quarterfinals for the second consecutive year with a victory over Lisa McCloskey, 19, of Houston, Texas, in 20 holes. After the two players traded lengthy birdie putts to halve the first extra hole, McCloskey found the right rough on the 20th hole and bogeyed. Korda made her birdie putt to seal the victory.
Korda, an experienced match-play competitor who played on the victorious 2010 USA Curtis Cup Team and has also made the cut at two U.S. Women’s Opens, knew she would have a tough match against McCloskey, who was the runner-up at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship in June and last month’s North & South Women’s Amateur.
“Every single opponent is different,” said Korda, who earned a 2-and-1 victory over Lee in the third round of the 2009 U.S. Women’s Amateur. “I’ve learned these past two years, even in Curtis Cup, U.S. Girls’ [Junior], do not underestimate your opponent. That’s the worst thing you can do. I always expect the worst for me, the best for them. Whatever happens, happens.”
Kristen Park, 17, of Buena Park, Calif., joined Lee and Korda in the quarterfinals thanks to a 20-hole victory over Marina Alex, 20, of Wayne, N.J. Park, the 2007 U.S. Girls’ Junior winner, said the tough match, coupled with her status as a past USGA champion, would be an advantage.
“It does help me because I know that I’ve been there before and I know that I’ve won in extra holes,” said Park, a 2-and-1 winner over 2010 USA Curtis Cup Team member Cydney Clanton, 21, of Rockwell, N.C., in the second round. “I just hope that the experience helps me through tomorrow.”
In a third-round contest between two Canadians, 19-year-old Jennifer Kirby outlasted 22-year-old Sara-Maude Juneau, 1 up. Kirby fell 3 down after nine holes when Juneau won five consecutive holes.
“She was making everything and I was just trying to grind and chop away some of it,” said Kirby, who faces Park in the quarterfinals. “I started to win. I made a really good putt on 11, birdied 12, so I got myself back in there within one hole. It was very back and forth.”
Kirby knew that facing her friend and Canadian national teammate would be a challenge.
“I think we both knew we weren’t going to speak,” said Kirby, who is rooming with Juneau while in Charlotte. “We both said the occasional ‘good shot.’ It’s hard to beat a friend, but at the same time, she wanted to beat me too.”
A third Canadian, 23-year-old Stephanie Sherlock, also advanced with a 3-and-1 victory over Kelly Shon, 18, of Port Washington, N.Y. Sherlock’s quarterfinal opponent will be Junthima Gulyanamitta, 21, of West Lafayette, Ind., a 2-and-1 winner over Calle Nielson, 22, of Nashville, Tenn.
Danielle Kang, 17, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., the medalist at the U.S. Girls’ Junior last month, reached the quarterfinals with a 1-up victory over Juliana Murcia Ortiz, 22, of Colombia. Kang will face Sydnee Michaels, 22, of Temecula, Calif. Michaels, who is playing in her fifth Women’s Amateur, advanced with a 19-hole victory over Jungeun Han, 17, of Korea. Michaels edged Kang by two strokes to win last month’s Canadian Women’s Amateur.
Lee’s co-medalists, Rachel Rohanna, 18, of Waynesburg, Pa., and Jaclyn Sweeney, 21, of Andover, Mass., were both eliminated in Thursday morning’s second round, as were 2010 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Doris Chen, 17, of Bradenton, Fla., and 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links champion Emily Tubert, 18, of Burbank, Calif.
The 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur continues with the quarterfinal matches Friday. The semifinals are on Saturday and the 36-hole championship final will be played Sunday.
The U.S. Women’s Amateur is one of 13 championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Story written by Beth Murrison, USGA Manager of Championship Communications. For questions or comments, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.