Girl Gets Her Wish
Survives Eight-Hole Playoff For Final Match-Play Spot
David Shefter, USGA
Pa. – Either way, it was going to be a happy birthday for one of the
final two contestants involved in the 10-for-5 playoff to determine
the final spots in the match-play draw for the 103rd U.S. Women’s Amateur
at Philadelphia Country Club.
Bastel survived an eight-hole playoff to garner the final spot for
match play at the Women's Amateur on Wednesday. The 23-year-old
faces medalist Aree Song in the first round on Thursday. (John Mummert/USGA)
Bastel, of Upper Sandusky, Ohio, turned 23 on Wednesday. Esther Choe,
of La Quinta, Calif., turned 14 on Thursday, the first day of match
play. At stake was the 64th seed and a date with medalist Aree Song
at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday.
spot would finally go to Bastel after she hit her 11-wood approach to
the par-4 18 th (it was the second time the two had played the hole)
to within 3 feet of the flagstick. Choe missed a 25-foot birdie putt
and Bastel drained her hers to end the playoff.
Katie Connelly, Allison Fouch, Alice Kim and Maru Martinez had advanced,
while Amber Marsh, Alana Condon, Meaghan Francella and Lisa Meshke were
eliminated. All 10 players finished at 11-over-par 153.
said Bastel, a member of the 2002 USA Curtis Cup and Women’s World Amateur
teams. “I have been notoriously short this entire week (on my approach
shots), so (my dad and I) looked at each other and said, ‘Let’s try
and get one in there close.’ That was really good.”
Bastel, Emily ’s father, is serving as her caddie this week. This likely
will be Bastel’s final Women’s Amateur as she has applied to attend
LPGA Qualifying School that begins at the end of this month. She did
register as an amateur, leaving her the option to regain her amateur
status immediately should she fail to earn her tour card.
times during their 3-hour, 6-minute eight-hole marathon, Bastel and
Choe seemed to be on the verge of either elimination or advancement.
the fourth playoff hole, the par-4 18th, Bastel needed to make a difficult
15-foot downhill putt for par to stay in the hunt. This came after a
challenging chip shot from near the right greenside bunker.
shot I had over there was just brutal,” said Bastel, a semifinalist
at the 2001 Women’s Amateur. “You could hardly see (the ball) and I
swear it kept sinking as I stood there. I hit it up there and my dad
said, ‘You know how to putt, you can make it.’ I got a good line and
I just had to trust it.”
a quarterfinalist at last month's U.S. Girls' Junior at Brooklawn Country
Club, also had good birdie opportunities each time she played the par-3
11th hole, missing putts of 12 feet and 8 feet.
the seventh playoff hole, Bastel saved Choe a stroke and possible elimination
when she almost failed to replace her ballmarker in its original position.
As Choe put her ball down for the short bogey putt, Bastel quickly reminded
her about replacing her coin, thus saving her a penalty stroke.
now has a tough challenge against Song, who shot a 67 on Wednesday,
tying her with Michelle Wie for the lowest round of the championship.
But last year, Elizabeth Janangelo proved that the medalist can be beaten
in the opening round as she knocked off Courtney Swaim after being the
final match-play qualifier.
try to keep the trend alive,” Bastel said.
earned a match with second seed Wie after making an up-and-down par
at the fifth playoff hole, the par-4 10th. It ended a long day for the
native of Venezuela, who was a semifinalist at last year’s Women’s Amateur.
She finished her second round at 9:30 a.m. and then had to wait it out
to see if her score would hold up. Martinez had a 73 in the first round
but followed that up with a disappointing 80.
still a lot of golf to be played, so I just have to be patient,” said
Martinez, a sophomore-to-be at Auburn University. “I’m looking forward
to playing tomorrow.”
Kim and Fouch each advanced at the first playoff hole with pars. Fouch
and Kim both played in this year’s Women’s Open and the former said
that experience definitely helped during the playoff.
not going to lie, my heart was pumping over that (10-foot) birdie putt,”
said the fifth-year-senior-to-be at Michigan State. “But I feel a little
bit more at ease now. The Open helped in a lot of different ways.
did feel confident. I know I am facing people who I know I’m just as
good as they are. I was a little bumpy with my short game the first
day (of stroke play) and today I missed some drives. But I feel both
of those things came back around at the end today.”
a quarterfinalist at the Women’s Western Amateur (where she lost to
eventual champion Brittany Lang), is competing in her fourth Women’s
Amateur and she has made the match-play cut in each appearance. This
was the first time the Beloit, Wis., resident advanced via a playoff.
was not loose at all,” said Connelly, who finished her round around
2 p.m. and then had to wait two hours for the playoff. “I just chipped
and putted before I went out. I hit a 6-iron to 25 feet. It (playoff)
one for academia: This year’s Women’s Amateur field is filled
with players from some of finest collegiate golf programs in the nation.
Teams such as Duke, Arizona, Oklahoma State, Florida, Texas, Michigan
State, California - Berkeley, UCLA and Southern California are represented.
there’s Avery Kiser from Princeton University. Yes, the Ivy League school
that’s known more for its academics than its golf. But Kiser of Rancho
Santa Fe, Calif., has given Princeton followers something to cheer for
this week, as she easily qualified for match play with rounds of 72
and 74 (146).
a junior-to-be, has captured the last two Ivy League titles. But even
she knows onc she steps outside the conference to play against the stronger
teams, the odds are stacked against her.
a reality check, but it kind of knocks you back to where you belong
and out of the clouds and back on your feet,” said Kiser. “What wins
a tournament in the Ivy League is not even close to qualifying at the
what makes the Women’s Amateur special for Kiser. It’s an opportunity
to showcase her skills against the very best, especially since her golf
season at school is so short due to the weather. The other Ivy Leaguer
in the field was Cindy Shin, who will be a freshman at Yale in the fall.
She failed to qualify for match play.
wanted to come here and shoot two decent rounds and give myself a chance
at match play,” said Kiser. “It’s a tough tournament because … everyone
here is so good that sometimes two of your best rounds won’t qualify.
You just keep your fingers crossed.”
an engineering major who has thoughts about getting into investment
banking, said this is the first national event she has played this summer.
She competes in the San Diego City Women’s Amateur and spends the rest
of her time working or relaxing at home. So she did not come to Philadelphia
Country Club with tremendous expectations.
I lose tomorrow, I have done what I wanted to do,” she said. “I’ve played
two good rounds of golf. My game is coming along. To be able to walk
out of here with an Ivy League bag and just say that you made it to
match play is huge.”
exit for Thompson : For the first time since 1969, the match-play
draw won’t have the name Carol Semple Thompson . Her 36-hole total of
158 missed the cut by five strokes. Thompson had advanced to the third
round in each of the last two Women’s Amateurs. She did not play in
the 1977 championship, meaning she had qualified for match play in the
last 32 Women’s Amateurs for which she entered. Thompson won the 1973
Women’s Amateur and was the runner-up in 1974. She has won a total of
seven USGA titles, including the last four Senior Women’s Amateur Championships.
exit Part II: Two players, Sookhee Baek and Bernadette Luse,
were disqualified for failing to show up for their assigned times on
Wednesday (Rule 6-3). Baek apparently injured her hand on Tuesday, but
had failed to notify a USGA official on her wish to withdraw. Luse simply
misinterpreted her time.
Shefter is a staff writer for the USGA. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org