Mika Liu, Rinko Mitsunaga win U.S. Women's Four-Ball
Mika Liu (right) and Rinko Mitsunaga (Steven Gibbons/USGA)
Mika Liu (right) and Rinko Mitsunaga (Steven Gibbons/USGA)

BANDON, Ore. — In a battle of east versus west, Southeastern United States high-schoolers Mika Liu and Rinko Mitsunaga captured the inaugural U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball with a 4-and-3 victory over Robynn Ree and Hannah O'Sullivan at Bandon Dunes.

“It really has not hit me,” Mitsunaga told the USGA. “Right now we’re just happy to be here. We’re so thankful for the golf course and all the volunteers for having us this week. It’s been a long, tough week.”

Liu, originally from Beverly Hills, Calif. but now lives in Bradenton, Fla., and her partner Mitsunaga, of Roswell, Ga., used three straight birdies on holes 6 through 8 to go three-up, eventually winning with a halved par on the par-five 15th.

Liu, 16, has committed to play in the fall of 2016 for Stanford while Mitsunaga, 18, will join the University of Georgia women's team this fall.

The runners-up will eventually be teammates as Ree, of Redondo Beach, Calif., will enroll at USC this fall while O'Sullivan, of Chandler, Ariz., will be a Lady Trojan in 2016.

Both final groups reached the championship match by earning 3-and-2 victories in Wednesday morning’s semifinal round. Liu and Mitsunaga eliminated Southern Californians Alyaa Abdulghany and Ellen Takada, while Ree and O’Sullivan defeated Madelein Herr and Brynn Walker, both of suburban Philadelphia.

“Everything happens for a reason,” O'Sullivan told the USGA. “We've just got to keep our heads up and take the positives from it – learn from it, bring it into our next events and use it as motivation to do better next time we compete.”

Next year's championship will be held at Streamsong Resort, May 21-25, 2016.

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ABOUT THE U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball

The U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball, the newest USGA championship, was played for the first time in 2015 at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Oregon. It immediately became one of the USGA's most popular tournaments. The event, which has no age restriction, is open to those women with a Handicap Index of 14.4 or lower. It is one of 14 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

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