CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Yueer Cindy Feng and Emma Talley prevailed Saturday in the semifinals of the U.S. Women's Amateur, each knocking off formidable opponents in Doris Chen and Alison Lee. Despite gaining a sizable front-nine advantage over Lee, Talley was forced to fight hard to stay ahead, while Feng won the first two holes with pars and never relinquished the lead against Chen.
"She made her mistakes and I just hung in there," said Feng, 17, who has been called the "Trojan Killer" after eliminating USC's Chen and Annie Park in the quarterfinals. "I'm excited for what tomorrow will bring."
Feng only needed two birdies in 16 holes to defeat the usually steady Chen, who made six bogies in her first 13 holes. On the par-4 16th, both players hit approach shots within 10 feet of the hole. Chen drained her birdie, but Feng made a birdie of her own to end the match.
The other semifinal match was much more of a battle, with the 19-year-old Talley winning four holes in a row on the front nine to take a 4-up lead. After the second hole, Lee suffered a nosebleed, forcing her to play the next few holes with a nostril full of gauze. However, the soon-to-be UCLA freshman weathered the untimely distraction and eventually squared the match with a birdie at the 16th hole. Lee then three-putted the par-3 17th to give Talley a 1-up lead that proved the difference when both players made par on 18.
"I knew when I was 4 up that it was not over at all," said Talley, who is entering her sophomore year at Alabama. "Alison's a great player and she held herself very well, even through the nosebleed. I felt bad for her. No matter what happens tomorrow, this has been a great experience."
Neither Feng nor Talley has won a USGA championship. Talley competed at the 2011 and 2012 U.S. Women's Opens, making the cut in 2012 at Blackwolf Run where she finished T-46. She has never advanced further than the Round of 16 in a USGA event and Feng has never made it past the quarterfinals. Feng made the cut at this year's Women's Open at Sebonack GC, finishing T-54.
Tomorrow's 36-hole championship match begins at 8:00 a.m., with the second 18 starting at 1:00 p.m. The Golf Channel will have tape-delayed coverage from 4-6 p.m.