USGA Women's Amateur: Pressel rolls into semis

Roswell, Ga. – Morgan Pressel of Boca Raton, Fla., Angela Park of Torrance, Calif., Alison Whitaker of Australia and Maru Martinez of Venezuela advanced to the semifinal round of the U.S. Women’s Amateur at the 6,341-yard, par-72 Settindown Creek Course of Ansley Golf Club.

Each of the day’s quarterfinal matches ended with a birdie.

Pressel, 17, had eight birdies in her 6 and 5 victory over Jennie Lee, 18, of Huntington Beach, Calif. Pressel was 3 up when Lee lipped out her birdie putt on the 9th hole. The birdie would have captured the lead but Pressel remained 3 up and said that was the turning point of the match.

“I was (still) 3 up and I felt pretty confident,” Pressel said. “I feel like getting up to a shot, just firing at pins and seeing what happens.”

The match ended when Pressel birdied the 344-yard, par-4 13th hole with an 8-foot putt.

Park, 16, pulled off something of an upset when she defeated the championship’s qualifying medalist, In-Kyung Kim, 17, of Korea, 3 and 2. The match ended when Park sank a 20-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole. Park had six birdies against two bogeys.

“I don’t think I’ve ever putted that well before,” said Park, who fired a 31 on the front nine.

“I was tired,” said Kim. “And she played really well. She’s a great player.”

Whitaker, 19, was 1 up on Maria Uribe of Colombia when both players faced short-iron second shots to the par-4 18th hole. Though the flagstick was tucked close to a greenside water hazard, the players showed no fear. Whitaker hit first, leaving her shot some three feet from the hole. Uribe followed with a shot that finished some six feet from the hole. After Uribe made her crucial birdie putt, Whitaker calmly rolled in her own birdie putt to halve the hole and win the match.

“I’ve been aggressive on a lot of the holes with water here, and it’s paid off so far,” said Whitaker. “I was really just trying to make something happen and seeing if I could kind of force the play.”

Martinez, 21, nearly threw away her chance to become a semifinalist for the second time. She also reached the semifinal round of this championship in 2002. As late as the 13th hole she was 2-up in her match with Jenny Suh, 19, of Fairfax, Va. But Martinez bogeyed the 14th and 15th to lose the holes. When Suh birdied the 16th, she went 1 up, a margin she held until the 18th hole. On the 18th, Martinez hit a pitching wedge for her second shot to the 378-yard par 4 to within a foot of the hole.

Her birdie squared the match and they went to the 19th hole, a par 5. Martinez managed to hole a curling 10-foot putt for a birdie to win the match.

“It takes skill to play well,” said Martinez, “but it also takes a little bit of luck. I’m hoping that tomorrow will be a little better than today.”

In Saturday’s semifinal round, Park meets Pressel while Whitaker faces Martinez. The championship ends with a 36-hole final on Sunday.

The Women’s Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted by the United States Golf Association. Ten are strictly for amateurs.

Story written by Rhonda Glenn of the USGA. E-mail her with questions or comments at rglenn@usga.org.

Roswell, Ga. – Quarterfinal results of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at the 6,341-yard, par-72 Settindown Creek Course of Ansley Golf Club.

Quarterfinal Round: Upper Bracket

Angela Park, Torrance, Calif. (144) def. In-Kyung Kim, Korea (139), 3 and 2

Morgan Pressel, Boca Raton, Fla. (142) def. Jennie Lee, Huntington Beach, Calif. (141), 6 and 5

Quarterfinal Round: Lower Bracket

Alison Whitaker, Australia (151) def. Maria Uribe, Colombia (149), 1 up

Maru Martinez, Venezuela (149) def. Jenny Suh, Fairfax, Va. (145), 19 holes

Roswell, Ga. – Pairings for the semifinal round of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at the 6,341-yard, par-72 Settindown Creek Course of Ansley Golf Club.

Upper Bracket

10:00 a.m. Angela Park, Torrance, Calif. (144) vs. Morgan Pressel, Boca Raton, Fla. (142)

Lower Bracket

10:15 a.m. Alison Whitaker, Australia (151) vs. Maru Martinez, Venezuela (149)

To view live scoring of Semifinal matches, click the tournament link at the top of the page or visit www.uswamateur.org

ABOUT THE U.S. Women's Amateur

The U.S. Women's Amateur, the third oldest of the USGA championships, was first played in 1895 at Meadowbrook Club in Hempstead, N.Y. The event is open to any female amateur who has a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 5.4. The Women's Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

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