Two sides share medalist honors at U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball
Courtesy of USGA
Courtesy of USGA

Medals were handed out to a pair of sides late Thursday afternoon at Grand Reserve Golf Club for topping the 64-team field in the stroke-play portion of the 7th U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship – but all four players know that much more is on the line starting on Friday.

“Being a medalist just proves to us that we really have a chance of winning,” said Leigh Chien, 16, who partnered with Anna Huang, 13. “It gives us a lot of confidence going into match play.”

Chloe Kovelesky, of Boca Raton, Fla., and Yana Wilson, of Henderson, Nev., both 15, who shared the first-round lead on Wednesday, overcame a double-bogey start to card a 3-under-par 69 for a 36-hole total of 10-under 134. A few groups later, Chien, of Irvine, Calif., and Huang, of Canada, posted a 68 to match that 10-under total. That was good enough for them to share medalist honors by one stroke.

Wilson, a two-time Drive, Chip and Putt national champion, and Kovelesky, a past DCP national finalist who qualified for the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open, quickly shook off their opening blemish to register birdies on four of their next six holes.

“We did something that wasn’t very smart,” said Kovelesky. “I picked up my putt for bogey and then she three-putted, but we bounced back after that.”

Indeed, they did.

Battling through a second day of breezy conditions, the duo played 1-under golf – 10 pars and a birdie on No. 15 – over their final 11 holes to provide some momentum going into the Round of 32 of match play.

“As long as we’re inside the cut line that’s all that matters,” said Wilson, who is No. 53 in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking® and won the 2022 Hilton Garden Vacations Annika Invitational by holing out from the fairway for an eagle.

Although Chien, a high school sophomore, and Huang, a seventh-grader, saw their bogey-free streak end at 29 holes with a 5 on the 404-yard 12th hole, the two past DCP finalists rebounded to birdie three of their last four holes.

“We got our momentum going on 15 and then just kept it up,” said Huang.

The two met at last year’s U.S. Girls’ Junior at Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Md., where Huang was the youngest competitor, and then Huang’s family relocated from Canada to Southern California and joined Chien’s club, Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club.

Yilin (Angela) Liu, 16, of Irvine, Calif.; and Charissa Shang, 18, of Calabasas, Calif., made eight birdies en route to the day’s low round, a 6-under 66, for a total of 9-under 135. They shared third with a pair of 15-year-olds from New Jersey, Megan Meng, of Pennington, and Angelina Tolentino, of Mount Laurel, who shot a 67 in Round 2.

First-round co-leaders LoraLie Cowart, 19, of Winston, Ga., and Ava Merrill, 17, of Johns Creek, Ga., finished fifth at 8-under 136 following a second-round 71. This is the first USGA championship being contested in a U.S. territory. The Puerto Rico Golf Association is one of 58 Allied Golf Associations supported by the USGA.

What’s Next

Match play for the 32 sides who advanced begins on Friday, followed by the Round of 16 and quarterfinals on Saturday. The semifinals and 18-hole championship match will be contested on Sunday.


The cut for match play came at 3-under 141 with exactly 32 teams, the lowest in the brief history of the championship. The previous low was 142 (2017 and 2019). The highest cut (148) came last year at Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollton, Texas.

Forty-nine of the 64 sides bettered par in Round 2.

There will be a new champion after last year’s winners, Savannah Barber and Alexa Saldana, missed the cut by one stroke following a second consecutive 71.

Two of the five sister tandems advanced to match play: Claire and Grace Liu, of Edison, N.J.; and twins Jessica and Sarah Spicer, of Bahama, N.C. The Spicers completed their eligibility at Virginia Tech last spring.

Three sides featuring mid-amateurs (25 and older) advanced to match play, led by two-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Julia Potter-Bobb and 2017 champion Kelsey Chugg. Seven-time competitor and 2015 Women’s Mid-Am champ Lauren Greenlief and fellow Virginian Alexandra Austin, and four-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Meghan Stasi and Dawn Woodard, the oldest side in the field, also qualified. Woodard made a 3-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to secure their spot.

Darianys Guzman and Camila Negroni, the lone Puerto Rico representatives in the field, carded a 74 (147) and missed the cut by six strokes.

The youngest side in the field, Ella June Hannant and Jenna Kim, missed advancing by four strokes. Both are DCP champions, with Kim taking the 12-13 age division earlier this month.

by David Shefter, USGA

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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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