SCGA well-represented as U.S. Women’s Amateur reaches Round of 32
August 09, 2017
After sending an impressive ten women past the cut and into the match play portion of the U.S. Women's Amateur here at San Diego CC, the SCGA continued its success on the national stage Wednesday with nine of the ten SoCal stars winning their Round of 64 matches. With just 32 players left in the field, which began with 156 players competing over 36 holes of stroke play earlier this week, golfers from Southern California represent nearly 30 percent of the remaining match play bracket.
After earning the No. 3 seed after an extremely impressive performance in the stroke play portion of the event, Escondido's Haley Moore defeated Latanna Stone of Florida in back and forth match that lasted all 18 holes. After jumping out to an early 2 up lead after three holes of play, Moore, a rising junior at the University of Arizona, would card three straight bogeys to lose her lead and find herself 1 down through five. The disadvantage would slip to as many as 2 down before Moore would win holes 9 and 10 to bring things back to all square.
The two would exchange leads one more time before Moore carded a birdie on the extremely challenging par-4 18th hole, playing today at 402 yards, to win the match 1 up.
“I missed a couple short putts in the beginning, and I just took some breaths and was focusing more on getting it closer to the hole,” said Moore of her thought process walking to the 18th tee all-square with Stone as a gallery of her close friends and family watched. “I just came in there, just hit a good drive and was in between two clubs and just hit a nice easy one and just stuck it pretty close and made birdie.”
Moore, however, was not the only Pac-12 star to find herself in a close match. Andrea Lee of Stanford, who is coming off her second win in three years at the SCGA Women's Amateur Championship, would battle it out with University of Washington's Sarah Rhee in a 18-hole affair that would eventually see Rhee upset Lee. Lee, who currently sits as No. 6 on the World Amateur Golf Rankings, was without a lead the entire match, but still managed to keep the pressure on Rhee until the final putt on 18 green. The two college stars matched each other shot for shot for the first seven holes of play, before a big birdie for Rhee on No. 8 gave the Seattle native an advantage. A missed three-foot putt on No. 9 for Lee would keep things that way at the turn.
But Lee battled back, tying things up on the par-4 12th hole with an impressive birdie of her own, draining a 12-footer that brought the match back to even. She would have the chance to take her first lead on two of the next three holes, but struggled with her putter, missing putts of three feet and five feet to head to the 16th hole with the match still all square. Rhee would find her putting stroke again, carding a birdie with a 10-foot putt on No. 16 that she would never relinquish.
The rest of the Southern California contingent would have better Luck that Lee, however, with Robynn Ree of USC cruising past Sabrina Iqbal of Northern California 5 and 4 and UCLA's Bethany Wu (pictured) and Lilia Vu easily taking care of business in their respective matches. Wu will face amateur phenom Lucy Li tomorrow in the Round of 32.
The most impressive SCGA victory of the day though may have come off the clubs of 16-year-old Brooke Seay of San Diego, who already has an impressive summer under her belt after making the cut in July at the U.S. Women's Open. Facing her good friend Rachel Heck, with whom she played a practice round with at the Women's Open, Seay battled back from an early deficit to eventually win the match in 20 holes. Seay will battle fellow SoCal native Stephanie Lau of Fullerton in Thursday morning's action.
Thursday will feature Round of 32 matches in the morning, with Round of 16 matches following in the afternoon. The action can be watched live on FS1 beginning at 12 p.m. PT.