Blumenherst, Na Advance At U.S. Women’s Amateur
Eugene, Ore. – They again took different paths to victory, but stroke-play co-medalists Amanda Blumenherst, 21, of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Stephanie Na, 19, of Australia, continued their winning ways during Thursday morning’s second round at the 2008 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, being played at the 6,516-yard, par-72 Eugene Country Club.
In Wednesday’s first round, Na built an early lead and held on for victory while Blumenherst fell behind early and needed to mount a comeback from 3 down to advance.
They reversed course Thursday, as Blumenherst built a 4-up lead en route to a 4-and-3 victory over 18-year-old Nikki Koller of Lewisburg, Ky., but Na trailed, 3 down, after 11 holes against Sydney Burlison, 18, of Salinas, Calif.
Blumenherst won the third, fourth and fifth holes against Koller to take control. The three-time national collegiate player of the year and 2007 Women’s Amateur runner-up credited her good start to better play.
“I was just more in my rhythm, I guess,” said Blumenherst, “I hit the ball a little bit better as well, and I just made a few nice putts from the start, so that helped get my momentum going.”
Na ran into trouble quickly against Burlison, with a triple bogey on the first hole and bogeys on the fifth and sixth to fall 3 down.
“I just got off to a rough start and I thought it’s just the first hole and whatever,” said Na, the 2008 Australian Stroke Play champion. “Then I just missed a couple of up and downs and I found myself 3 down and I really had a lot of fight in me still and I still just tried to get my trust back and go from there.”
She did just that, winning the 12th hole with a birdie, No. 13 with a bogey and the 15th with a par to square the match. A birdie on No. 16 and a winning par on the 17th helped her close out Burlison, 2 and 1.
Na, playing in her first USGA championship, was pleased by her comeback.
“It’s a really good feeling,” said Na. “It’s tough. I am just really happy I could bring it back.”
Kristina Wong, 17, of Vestal, N.Y., was among the other second-round winners Thursday morning. Wong, who lost a heartbreaking semifinal match at the U.S. Girls’ Junior in 26 holes less than two weeks ago, went to extra holes against 2008 U.S. Women’s Open qualifier Lauren Doughtie, 21, of Suffolk, Va., But this time Wong came out on the winning side, earning a 20-hole victory.
One of Blumenherst’s 2008 USA Curtis Cup teammates, Alison Walshe, 23, of Westford, Mass., lost a 19-hole decision to Chelsea Stelzmiller, 19, of Placerville, Calif. Walshe had a chance to win on the par-4 18th but missed a 5-footer for par. On the first extra hole, Walshe found trouble immediately, hitting her tee shot into a fairway bunker. She hit the lip of the bunker and still had 110 yards to the green. Her third shot sailed over the green and eventually double bogeyed, allowing Stelzmiller to escape with the victory.
International players continued to fare well. In addition to Na, five foreign players advanced: Carlota Ciganda, 18; Belen Mozo, 19; and Azahara Munoz, 20, all from Spain, and two Canadians, 21-year-old Stephanie Sherlock and Kira Meixner, 22.
Match play at the 2008 U.S. Women’s Amateur continues with the third round Thursday afternoon. The quarterfinal matches are on Friday, the semifinals will be played Saturday and the 36-hole championship final will be played Sunday.
Story written by Beth Murrison of USGA Media Relations. For questions or comments, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eugene, Ore. – Results following Thursday’s second round of match play at the 2008 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at the 6,516-yard, par-72 Eugene Country Club:
Round of 32
Stephanie Na, Australia (140) def. Sydney Burlison, Salinas, Calif. (148), 2 and 1
Kristina Wong, Vestal, N.Y. (150) def. Lauren Doughtie, Suffolk, Va. (150), 20 holes
Azahara Munoz, Spain (143) def. Ha-Na Jang, Korea (148), 2 and 1
Tracy Nichols, Rocklin, Calif. (151) def. Breanne Loucks, Wales (147), 2 up
Whitney Neuhauser, Barboursville, Va. (142) def. Lucy Nunn, Lawton, Okla. (149), 5 and 4
Stephanie Kono, Honolulu, Hawaii (146) def. Jane Chin, Mission Viejo, Calif. (150), 4 and 3
Stephanie Sherlock, Canada (142) def. Sydnee Michaels, Temecula, Calif. (149), 1 up
Belen Mozo, Spain (147) def. Lindy Duncan, Ft Lauderdale, Fla. (143), 3 and 2
Amanda Blumenherst, Scottsdale, Ariz. (140) def. Nikki Koller, Lewisburg, Ky. (148), 4 and 3
Ellen Mueller, Bartlesville, Okla. (150) def. Selanee Henderson, Temecula, Calif. (150), 3 and 1
Carlota Ciganda, Spain (143) def. Jennifer Johnson, La Quinta, Calif. (149), 1 up
Jennifer Hirano, Pinole, Calif. (149) def. Pearl Jin, San Gabriel, Calif. (151), 2 and 1
Kira Meixner, Canada (141) def. Stefanie Kenoyer, Lighthouse Point, Fla. (148), 3 and 2
Erynne Lee, Silverdale, Wash. (150) def. Cindy Lacrosse, Tampa, Fla. (146)1 up
Chelsea Stelzmiller, Placerville, Calif. (148) def. Alison Walshe, Westford, Mass. (143), 19 holes
Megan McChrystal, Stuart, Fla. (147) def. Julia Potter, Granger, Ind. (143), 3 and 2
Eugene, Ore. – Pairings for Thursday’s third round of match play at the 2008 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at the 6,516-yard, par-72 Eugene Country Club:
Round of 16
1:00 p.m. Stephanie Na, Australia (140) vs. Kristina Wong, Vestal, N.Y. (150)
1:10 p.m. Azahara Munoz, Spain (143) vs. Tracy Nichols, Rocklin, Calif. (151)
1:20 p.m. Whitney Neuhauser, Barboursville, Va. (142) vs. Stephanie Kono, Honolulu, Hawaii (146)
1:30 p.m. Stephanie Sherlock, Canada (142) vs. Belen Mozo, Spain (147)
1:40 p.m. Amanda Blumenherst, Scottsdale, Ariz. (140) vs. Ellen Mueller, Bartlesville, Okla. (150)
1:50 p.m. Carlota Ciganda, Spain (143) vs. Jennifer Hirano, Pinole, Calif. (149)
2:25 p.m. Kira Meixner, Canada (141) vs. Erynne Lee, Silverdale, Wash. (150)
2:50 p.m. Chelsea Stelzmiller, Placerville, Calif. (148) vs. Megan McChrystal, Stuart, Fla. (147)