Hsaio-Ching Lu Garners Final Spot In Match-Play Draw

 

By David Shefter, USGA

 

Erie, Pa. Hsaio-Ching Lu, 16, of Chinese Taipei holed a 3-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole, the 164-yard, par-3 11th, on Wednesday morning to survive an 11-for-1 playoff for the final spot in the match-play draw at the 104th U.S. Women's Amateur being held at the 6,365-yard, par-72 Kahkwa Club.

 

Hsaio-Ching Lu, left, of Chinese Taipei is congratulated by fellow countrywoman Fiona Chung after surviving the 11-for-1 playoff. (Steve Gibbons/USGA)

Lu used a 5-iron for her tee shot and the ball came close to bouncing into the hole for an ace before settling just three feet from the flagstick. At the par-4 10 th hole, Lu nearly was eliminated from the playoff when her 2-foot par putt circled the hole before dropping.

 

Lu has had success in previous USGA competitions. She advanced to the semifinals at the U.S. Girls' Junior two weeks ago, defeating 2002 U.S. Girls' Junior champion In-Bee Park in a 22-hole thriller in the second round. She was a quarterfinalist at the 2003 Girls' Junior.

 

Lu will face medalist Amie Cochran, 18, of Torrance, Calif., in the first round. The match was scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.

 

Lu joins fellow countrywomen Ya-Ni Tseng and Kwan-Chih Lu (no relation) in the match-play draw. Tseng, 15, won this year's U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links title, defeating 14-year-old phenom Michelle Wie in the 36-hole final, 1 up. Tseng also made match play at last year's U.S. Women's Amateur, losing to 2004 USA Curtis Cupper Paula Creamer, 1 up. Kwan-Chih Lu, 19, advanced to the third round of match play at the 2003 Women's Amateur, losing to 2002 Women's Amateur champion Becky Lucidi.

 

All three could be representing Chinese Taipei at the Women's World Amateur Team Championship this October in Puerto Rico.

 

Seven of the 11 players advanced past the first playoff hole by making par. Local favorite Becky Berzonski of Erie, Pa., was eliminated at the first hole when she missed a 4-foot par putt. Erin Andrews, Seema Sadekar and Laura Crawford also failed to advance to the second hole.

 

Anna Temple of Berkeley, Calif., had the best birdie opportunity at the first playoff hole, but she missed a 10-footer to the left. Temple also had an excellent birdie chance at the second playoff hole as well, but she couldn't convert from 15 feet. Temple and Sin Ham made par at the second hole, with Kasi Lee, Meghan Bolger, the golf coach at the University of Mississippi, Laura Tereby and 2000 U.S. Girls' Junior champion Lisa Ferrero making bogeys.

 

David Shefter is a USGA staff writer. E-mail him with questions and comments at dshefter@usga.org.

 

 

 

 

 

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