Thursday, August 11, 2011

Who Will Be in the Elite 8 at the US Women's Amateur at the End of the Day Today?

The 1st round of the match-play component of the U.S. Women's Amateur featured several big upsets. Co-medalist Jihee Kim went down 2&1 to the #64 seed Elyse Smidinger, U.S. Girls' Junior champion Doris Chen got beat on the 20th hole by #59 seed Gabriela Lopez, Casey Grice fell 3&2 to #60 seed Ket Preamchuen, and Gabriella Then lost on the 19th hole to #47 seed Mackenzie Brooke Henderson. But at least they made it past the stroke-play cut line of +7, unlike Brianna Do, Emily Tubert, Brittany Altomare, Meghan Stasi, and Manlius's own Jillian Fraccola.

All of which is not to say that there aren't a great deal of great-2nd-round match-ups on tap in a few hours. To me, the most interesting include Lydia Ko vs. Stephanie Kono, Danielle Kang vs. Emma Talley, Julie Yang vs. Lisa McCloskey, Moriya Jutanugarn vs. Amy Anderson, Erynne Lee vs. Tiffany Lim, and Ariya Jutanugarn vs. Lindy Duncan. If there are no further upsets (and that's a big if!), we'll see Annie Park in the Sweet 16 against Lee or Lim, Tiffany Lua against Ko or Kono, and Victoria Tanco against Moriya Jutanugarn or Anderson. (Lua's already beaten Princeton's Kelly Shon, probably the 2nd-most impressive 1st-round victory to Ariya Jutanugarn's win on the 19th hole against Sophia Popov.)

It'll be interesting to see whether a few of these battle-tested players will make it to the final 4, or whether golfers who got a little bit of the luck of the draw on their side like Brooke Pancake and Austin Ernst will take advantage of what should be an easier road to the elite 8 and perhaps beyond it. Unfortunately, we can only see the 3rd round on Golf Channel this afternoon; here's hoping they have good highlights from the 2nd round ready to roll right at 3 pm!

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