Friday, August 12, 2011

Are Things Falling into Place for a Danielle Kang Repeat at the U.S. Women's Amateur?

Defending champion Danielle Kang annihilated Emma Talley in the 2nd round and made a late charge against a surprisingly game Cindy Ha to lead the way into the Elite 8 at the U.S. Women's Amateur. She'll probably have the easiest match of the quarterfinals, as Demi Frances Rumas knocked off Lisa McCloskey in the 3rd round after McCloskey won the last 2 holes in the 2nd round to send Julie Yang packing. The other member of the Elite 8 who seemingly has an easy path to the Final 4 is Moriya Jutanugarn, who beat 2 very tough opponents in Amy Anderson and Victoria Tanco, but won't get a chance to get revenge for her sister Ariya on Lindy Duncan, as Duncan lost to a Casey Danielson birdie on the 1st extra hole in the 3rd round.

The other 2 quarterfinal matches should be very close: 1st Brooke Pancake faces Erynne Lee, then Stephanie Kono and Austin Ernst face off 20 minutes later. We'll see how Pancake and Ernst handle their 1st big tests of the match play portion of this national championship. True, both players were taken to the 18th hole in the 1st round by their respective opponents, and Ernst was back there in the 2nd round, as well, but all 3 times the big-name players held the lead for much of their matches against lesser-known opponents.

Should be fun to watch this afternoon!

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