Few surprises in first round of match play at the U.S. Women's Amateur
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The first round of match play at the U.S. Women's Amateur at CC of Charleston came to a close without many surprises. Among several contenders advancing to the Round of 32 is 14-year-old stroke-play medalist Yumi Matsubara, who defeated Italy's Bianca Maria Fabrizio, 2 & 1.
"I'm glad to win this match. I played well score wise, which is the point for me," said Matsubara through her translator, June Nagashima. "I like stroke play better so I just focus on my score."
Despite her affinity for stroke play, Matsubara has had success in match play events. She reached the semifinals of the 2012 Japanese Women's Amateur and lost in the finals of the same event earlier this year. Matsubara is traveling with Nagashima and another Japanese player, Kotone Hori, who also advanced to the second round of match play. Hori will play 2012 Girls' Junior champ Minjee Lee.
In the Round of 32, Matsubara will face Laura Diaz-Yi, who defeated Desiree Dubreuil, 4 & 3, and is looking to become the third player in history to win the Women's Public Links and the Women's Amateur in the same year. Diaz-Yi will be a freshman at Virginia in the fall.
Meghan Stasi, 35, advanced to the second round of match play for the first time in her career, an astonishing fact given her record in USGA events. In addition to playing for the victorious U.S. Curtis Cup squad in 2008, Stasi won the Mid-Amateur in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2012, becoming only the 16th player to win the same USGA championship four times.
"It was an incredible day," said Stasi, who will play Princeton's Kelly Shon Thursday morning. "I just want to keep it going tomorrow and hopefully the rest of the week."
Also advancing is USC's Doris Chen, who lost to Diaz-Yi in the Publinks final. Chen won a tight match with a two-putt par on the 18th hole against UCLA's Erynne Lee. She'll face Kacie Komoto of Honolulu Thursday morning.
"I'm playing very consistently," said Chen. "It's also good to see my teammates everywhere. They're very good players so I know they're going to be around."
Joining Chen in the Round of 32 is another USC Trojan and reigning NCAA champion Annie Park, who will square off against Brittany Fan in the second round. Other notable players advancing to the Round of 32 are incoming Oklahoma State freshman Casie Cathrea, Oklahoma's Emily Collins, Purdue's Aurora Kan (who defeated 2013 Girls' Junior champ Gabriella Then, 7 & 5), Alabama's Emma Talley, Leona Maguire (who defeated fellow Irishwomen Stephanie Meadow), recent North & South Amateur champ Ally McDonald, Arkansas' Emily Tubert and junior players Nicole Morales, Alison Lee and Yueer Cindy Feng.
In the last match of the day, Pepperdine's Grace Na advanced with a birdie on the 19th hole. She defeated Megan Khang, who birdied the 18th in regulation to extend the match. Also earning a Thursday tee time is Australia's Su-Hyun Oh, who after beating Wisconsin's Jessie Gerry, became the only quarterfinalist from last year's event to reach Thursday's Round of 32.
Tomorrow's morning round kicks off with Matsubara vs. Diaz-Yi at 7:30 a.m. The Round of 16 will begin at 1:00 p.m., and pending any weather delays, eight quarterfinalists will be set by tomorrow evening.