Top Seeds Kovelesky-Wilson and Chien-Huang reach the round of 16
The two teams that shared medal honors at the 7th U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship had no trouble winning their Round of 16 matches Friday at Grand Reserve Golf Club.
Chloe Kovelesky, 15, of Boca Raton, Fla., and Yani Wilson, of Henderson, Nevada, the group’s top seeds, ousted fellow teenagers Sawyer Brockstedt, 16, of Rehoboth Beach, Del., and Ellison Lundquist, 14, of Furlong, Pa., 4-and-3, while second seed Leigh Chien, 16, of Irvine, Calif., and Anna Huang, 13, of Canada, picked up a 5-and-4 win in 2015 US Women’s Mid-Amateur Champion Lauren Greenlief, 31, of Ashburn, Va., and Alexandra Austin, 29, of Burke, Va.
2021 US Women’s Open qualifier Kovelesky and two-time Drive, Chip & Putt age group champion Wilson lost the first hole to a 50-foot birdie from Lundquist but rallied to tie the game with a birdie on the 260-yard third hole. They won three straight holes from the No. 6 to take control of the contest.
“Overall, I feel like we started to warm up towards the end. [of our match]said Wilson, the top-ranked player in the field at No. 53 in the World Women’s Amateur Golf Rankings®. “We just kept shooting pins and making putts.”
Longtime hitter Chloe Kovelesky and partner Yana Wilson advance to the Round of 16 at the #USWFourBall!
— USGA (@USGA) April 22, 2022
The next seeds are Kaitlyn Schroeder, 17, of Jacksonville, Florida, and Bailey Shoemaker, of West Edmeston, NY Schroeder, quarter-finalist of US Girls’ Junior 2021, and Shoemaker, a former finalist of DCP, eliminated l Former DCP finalist Vanessa Borovilos, 15, of Canada, and 2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur quarter-finalist Cara Heisterkamp, 16, of Westlake, Ohio, 3 and 2.
Chien and Huang won five holes in a row, including two with birdies, to open their round of 16. They were the equivalent of 3 under par, with the usual concessions in match play over 14 holes.
Next up for the No. 2 seeds are University of Kentucky teammates Laney Frye and Maria Villanueva.
Third seed Yilin (Angela) Liu, 16, of Irvine, Calif., and Charissa Shang, 18, of Calabasas, Calif., took a 5 turn lead against Frances Kim (Rolling Hills Estates) , another teenager from Southern California. and Nikki Oh (Torrance) and earned a 3 and 2 win. The pair birdied on all four par-3 holes, including a tie-breaking 2 over the No. 16.
8 seeds Gianna Clemente, 14, of Warren, Ohio, and Avery Zweig, 15, of McKinney, Texas, birdied on their final two holes as they rallied to defeat California’s Michelle Ho, 15, of San Ramon, and Michelle Woo, 14, of Fremont, in 19 holes. Clemente-Zweig, who lost in last year’s championship semi-final at Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollton, Texas, was 1 down on the 18th hole before Zweig converted from 6 feet for a birdie on par 5. Clemente made an 8-footer on the par-4 19th hole, and Ho/Woo had a chance to go overtime but missed just inside 8-footers.
“I expected her to putt on me,” Clemente said. “That’s how match play works. That’s just the mindset I had all day, and they were putting left and right all day. I think we were both shocked [she missed]. It was a big comeback for sure.
Meghan Stasi, 43, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Dawn Woodard, 47, of Greenville, South Carolina, the four-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Champion, the oldest team in this week’s field and the only tandem to compete in the seven U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Balls, knocked out New Jersey teenagers and No. 4 seed Megan Meng of Pennington and Mount Laurel’s Angelina Tolentino 2 and 1. In the Deadlocked through 12 holes, Stasi-Woodard won holes 13 (birdie) and 14 (par) and tied pars with their opponents to close them.
Another mid-amateur team, Kelsey Chugg, 30, of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Julia Potter-Bobb, 34, of Indianapolis, Ind., rallied from 3 after nine holes to oust teammates of Wake Forest Julia McLaughlin, of Princeton, NJ and Georgia Ruffalo, of Tampa, Fla. in 19 holes. Chugg, the 2017 United States Women’s Mid-Amateur Champion, bounced back from a bad drive by hitting her 20-foot approach on the first extra hole and converting the birdie putt. Potter-Bobb is a two-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Champion (2013, 2016).
This is the first USGA championship played on American territory. The Puerto Rico Golf Association is one of 58 allied golf associations supported by the USGA.
Saturday’s first game kicks off at 6:50 a.m., with the quarter-finals set to start at 12:30 p.m. The semi-finals and the 18-hole championship match are scheduled for Sunday.
The USGA moved the tees on the par-4 third hole to make it playable at 260 yards. The hole measured 334 yards in stroke play. The par-3 11th hole was just 101 yards Friday, 53 yards shy of the stroke play.
Four games were extra holes on Friday, including the aforementioned ones. The duo of Sydney Hackett and Melanie Walker birdied the par-5 18th hole and parried the No. 19 to edge Kaylee Chen and Morgan Miller. New Albany, Ohio high school teammates Kary Hollenbaugh and Anna Ritter parried the 19th hole to defeat 2021 US Women’s Open qualifier Sophie Linder and Karoline Tuttle.
Although they were eliminated in the round of 16 on Friday, Sawyer Brockstedt and Ellison Lundquist had already won big. Last summer, with the help of their parents and others, the duo raised $70,000 for the Alzheimer’s Foundation through their Ace Cup/Battle of the Beach golf event held at Kings Creek Country. Rehoboth Beach Club, Del. more money in 2022. The charity means a lot to Brockstedt, whose grandmother has the disease.
Twins Jessica and Sarah Spicer are the only sister tandem left after Claire and Grace Liu were eliminated on Friday by Georgians Thienna Huynh and Sara Im. The Spicers completed their eligibility at Virginia Tech last spring.
by David Shefter, USGA (Joey Geske, USGA, contributed story.)
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