By Lila Hillard, exclusive for amateurgolf.com
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (February 26, 2006) -- Icy wind from the impending Artic storm bore down on Harding Park about noon on Sunday, February 26, followed shortly with a cold pelting rain, to make the last holes of play in the Women’s Division of the 2006 San Francisco City Golf Championships a matter of survival.
The story of the day was the upset of ten-time winner of this event, Sally Krueger, who lost to Diane Kwon, a sophomore in high school from Fremont. Yesterday, Krueger’s putt fell in and challenger Emily Child’s putt lipped out on the 18th hole to put Krueger in the next match round. Today, Krueger was not so lucky. The rain came down hard, as Krueger and Kwon both made pars on 17 and arrived at the 18th even for the round. Both players had straight drives and clean approach shots, with Krueger’s ball dropping on the green about 60 feet from the hole. Kwon landed on the back fringe, and she two putted for a 4. Krueger made a nice long putt, leaving herself about 5 feet from the hole. Krueger’s ball just missed the hole giving her a bogie and giving Kwon the win 1-Up.
In another match that was decided on the last putt on the 18th, 12-year-old Grace Na sank a 15-foot putt to make a birdie and win the match against low qualifier Christina Stockton 1-Up. Na was 3 down until the 9th hole, then “I really tried my hardest”, noted Na. She made a birdie on 10 and 11 as well, to come back strong on the back nine.
2003 winner Eva Monisteri continued her winning streak with a 3-2 win against Jennifer Hirano. “It was a good match and we both played well. I just made a few more putts”, said Monisteri, who was able to close down the match before the inclement weather took hold.
Going extra holes was the final twosome of the day, Melissa Bagley and Christina Hirano. All even after playing the 18th hole in the pouring rain, the pair headed out into the storm to begin a playoff on hole number 1. Bagley finally won on the 20th hole.
Kwon, Na, Monisteri and Bagley will play in the semi finals at Harding Park beginning at 7:30 on Saturday, March 4th, with the final play of 36 holes on Sunday, March 5th to determine this year’s winner.