Emilia Migliaccio (Wake Forest Athletics/Twitter photo)
Pinehurst can test even a seasoned match-play player like Emilia Migliaccio. The Wake Forest junior only had to play 13 holes in getting past Aneka Seumanutafa in the second round of match play Thursday morning at the Women’s North & South Amateur.
Then she met Allisen Corpuz in the quarterfinals.
Migliaccio had built an advantage, only to lose it when Corpuz, the Southern Cal senior who was stroke-play medalist this week, rallied with an eagle on the par-5 10th and a birdie on the 11th. Corpuz then led, 1 up.
Corpuz won the 12th hole without even having to finish when it was ruled Migliaccio had moved sand when she tried to brush away pinestraw. The penalty resulted in a lost hole for Migliaccio, and a 2-down deficit with six to play.
“I just thought it was pinestraw,” Migliaccio said. “But when the official said it was sand that moved, I thought, ‘Oh yes, of course. That makes sense.’ I mean, it’s a rule.”
As she often does, Migliaccio had her mom Ulrika on the bag. The two recited a saying they often use on the golf course – one that might lend an explanation for Migliaccio’s toughness in match play. She went 3-0 for Wake Forest at the NCAA Championship.
“My mom and I always say, ‘We’re playing the course. We’re playing the course, not the opponent.’ And No. 2 is just so difficult that I think it just got me even more focused on playing the course,” MIgliaccio said. “I just got into a zone and started playing the course a little harder. I think it put me in a better spot.
Migliaccio eventually won, 1 up, when Corpuz fumbled two touchy chips at No. 18.
“This felt like a championship match. We just kept going back and forth at each other,” said Migliaccio, a Cary, N.C., native.
Two matches stand between Migliaccio and the coveted putter boy trophy, and the road certainly doesn’t get any easier. She’ll face USC player Gabriela Ruffels, runner-up here last year, in the semifinals.
Ruffels survived a difficult quarterfinal match against Dylan Kim, the recent Arkansas graduate. Kim was 2 up through five, but Ruffels took control from there. She has succeeded by knowing where she absolutely can’t hit the ball, and avoiding those spots.
“Before every shot, I ask my caddie, ‘Where’s the best spot to miss?’ and I think that’s really helping me get around No. 2 and to be patient,” Ruffels said. “Because, if you find yourself in the wrong places on this course? You’re done.”
Christine Wang, an incoming USC player from Houston, defeated future teammate Jennifer Chang to reach the quarterfinals. She’ll now meet Australian Doey Choi.
Quotes and information from Pinehurst Resort used in this report
ABOUT THE North & South Women's Amateur
The Women's North & South has drawn the top
amateur women from around the country. Three
rounds of stroke play followed by four rounds of
match play will determine the Champion.
The 96 player field will be cut to a 16 player
match play field and medalist honors. All stroke
match play rounds will be contested on Pinehurst
No. 2. The top 16 players who qualify for match
play will play two rounds a day until our
Nine of the last 12 North & South Women’s
Amateur champions have drawn paychecks as
members of the LPGA Tour. The equation is near
perfect. Win the North & South Am, go on to
professional success at the highest level.
North & South champions are among the legends
of the game: Babe Zaharias, Louise Suggs,
Kirk Bell, Hollis Stacey, Brandie Burton, Brittany
Lang, Morgan Pressel and Yani Tseng.
Along with the Women's North & South,
Resort & Country Club annually plays host to the
Men's North & South, the Junior North & South,
and Senior Men's and Senior Women's North &
View Complete Tournament Information