Son advances, Milligan edged out in U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship

TULSA, Okla. -Yujeong Son of Norman won her first-round match in the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship Wednesday, knocking off Emily Cox of Lancaster, Pa., 3 and 2.

Son will face Javaree Boonchant of Thailand at 8:48 a.m. in the second round at Tulsa Country Club Thursday.

Oklahoma’s other entrant, Kaitlyn Milligan of Norman, was clipped in 19 holes by Ellie Slama of Salem, Oregon. Milligan had come back from two down to tie the match with a par on the 18th hole, but bogeyed the first playoff hole.

Stroke-play medalist Megan Khang won her first-round match, taking a 1-up victory over Shannon Brooks.

Although she prevailed in the end, for the first time in the championship, Khang, 17, of Rockland, Mass., wasn’t thrilled with her performance.

"I think this is actually my worst round," said Khang, who is playing in a record-tying seventh U.S. Girls’ Junior. "It was definitely a good match, though. Shannon putted amazing today, and it was a great battle to have because she put me in a lot of pressure moments."

"You always expect your matches to be tough because you never want to underestimate your opponent, and I knew Shannon was a great player," said Khang, who will face fellow 17-year-old Naomi Ko, of Canada, in Thursday morning’s Round of 32. Khang’s best Girls’ Junior finish came in 2013 when she lost, 2 and 1, in the semifinals to eventual champion Gabriella Then.

After a back-and-forth match, Maria Balcazar, of Mexico, and Hannah O’Sullivan, of Chandler, Ariz., needed extra holes to determine a victor. Balcazar ended the battle with an exclamation point by holing out from 151 yards for an eagle on the par-4 first hole, earning the 19-hole victory. It was the second consecutive year that O’Sullivan, the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball runner-up, fell in the Girls’ Junior first round in extra holes.

"We saw it was a pretty good shot, and there were two people near the green who said, ‘wow,’ but we didn’t know it was in until I got to the green," said Balcazar, who will face the long-hitting 2014 Girls’ Junior medalist Angel Yin, of Arcadia, Calif., on Thursday.

Yin, who is playing in her third Girls’ Junior, eliminated Pauline Del Rosario, of the Philippines, 4 and 2. Yin led by five strokes over 10 holes and carded an eagle on the par-4 13th hole, which was playing at 244 yards.

Malia Nam, 15, of Kailua, Hawaii, knocked off 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Kristen Gillman in a tight 2-and-1 match.

"We were going back and forth the whole round, and it wasn’t until the last couple holes that I was able to make some birdie putts," said Nam, who didn’t realize she was playing the reigning Women’s Amateur champion. "I could see she was really trying to fight back, but it just didn’t work out. It was a really good match."

Sophie Liu, the championship’s second seed, was defeated, 2 and 1, by Kathleen Scavo, who reached match play through Tuesday’s 10-for-7 playoff. Scavo, who will play for the University of Oregon in the fall, faces Ellie Slama, of Salem, Ore., in the Round of 32.

Alyaa Abdulghany needed 20 holes to eliminate Kendall Griffin, who earned medalist honors at the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball. It was a rematch of sorts, as Adbulghany and her partner Ellen Takada defeated Griffin and her partner Athena Yang in the quarterfinals of the Women’s Amateur Four-Ball.

Twelve-year-old Lucy Li, the championship’s youngest competitor, prevailed with a 6-and-5 victory against 16-year-old Pajaree Anannaruam. Li, who said today’s match was the best she’s played all week, will next face 13-year-old Karah Sanford.

Others to reach the Round of 32 include 2015 U.S. Women’s Open competitors Muni He and Maria Fassi, as well as the 2015 Pan American Games silver medalist Andrea Lee, 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball champion Mika Liu and 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links runner-up Eun Jeong Seong.

The 2015 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship consists of 36 holes of stroke play followed by six rounds of match play. The championship is scheduled to conclude with a 36-hole final at 9 a.m. CDT on Saturday.

TULSA, Okla. – Results from Wednesday’s first round of match play at the 2015 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, being conducted on the 6,076-yard, par-70 Tulsa Country Club course:

Upper Bracket
Megan Khang, Rockland, Mass. (132) def. Shannon Brooks, Vienna, Va. (147), 1 up
Naomi Ko, Canada (144) def. Allisen Corpuz, Honolulu, Hawaii (144), 2 and 1
Lauren Hartlage, Elizabethtown, Ky. (141) def. Rose Huang, People’s Republic of China (145), 20 holes
Alyaa Abdulghany, Newport Beach, Calif. (145) def. Kendall Griffin, Sebring, Fla. (141), 20 holes
Malia Nam, Kailua, Hawaii (138) def. Kristen Gillman, Austin, Texas (146), 2 and 1
Chakansim (Fai) Khamborn, Thailand (145) def. Hailee Cooper, Montgomery, Texas (142), 3 and 2
Aubree Jones, Covington, Tenn. (138) def. Maria Vesga, Howey in the Hills, Fla. (146), 1 up
Eun Jeong Seong, Republic of Korea (145) def. Yu Chiang Hou, Chinese Taipei (142), 4 and 3
Muni He, People’s Republic of China (136) def. Simar Singh, Los Altos, Calif. (147), 5 and 4
Annika Cedo, Philippines (144) def. Lois Kaye Go, Philippines (144), 1 up
Jessica Mangrobang, Chula Vista, Calif. (139) def. Jennifer Koga, Honolulu, Hawaii (146), 1 up
Gina Kim, Chapel Hill, N.C. (141) def. Kelsey Zeng, Orlando, Fla. (145), 6 and 5
Yu Sang Hou, Chinese Taipei (137) def. Haylin Harris, Tucson, Ariz. (147), 3 and 2
Jayna Choi, Collierville, Tenn. (143) def. Yealimi Noh, Concord, Calif. (144), 1 up
Lucy Li, Redwood City, Calif. (139) def. Pajaree Anannarukarn, Thailand (146), 6 and 5
Karah Sanford, Escondido, Calif. (142) def. Kelly Su, Scottsdale, Ariz. (145), 3 and 2

Lower Bracket
Kathleen Scavo, Benicia, Calif. (147) def. Sophie Liu, Canada (136), 2 and 1
Ellie Slama, Salem, Ore. (144) def. Kaitlin Milligan, Norman, Okla. (144), 19 holes
Adeena Shears, Elizabeth, W.Va. (145) def. Han Hsuan Yu, Chinese Taipei (141), 1 up
Evelyn Arguelles, Mexico (145) def. Katherine Muzi, Walnut, Calif. (141), 4 and 3
Mika Liu, Beverly Hills, Calif. (138) def. Mimi (Xiaoyi) Chen, People’s Republic of China (147), 5 and 3
Kelly Sim, Republic of Korea (143) def. Sarah Spicer, Bahama, N.C. (144), 3 and 1
Aneka Seumanutafa, Frederick, Md. (146) def. Mariel Galdiano, Pearl City, Hawaii (139), 2 and 1
Courtney Dow, Frisco, Texas (142) def. Lilia Khatu Vu, Fountain Valley, Calif. (145), 4 and 2
Jaravee Boonchant, Thailand (136) def. Beth Lillie, Fullerton, Calif. (147), 3 and 2
Yujeong Son, Republic of Korea (144) def. Emily Cox, Lancaster, S.C. (144), 3 and 2
Angel Yin, Arcadia, Calif. (140) def. Pauline Del Rosario, Philippines (146), 4 and 2
Maria Balcazar, Mexico (145) def. Hannah O’Sullivan, Chandler, Ariz. (141), 19 holes
Andrea Lee, Hermosa Beach, Calif. (137) def. Brooke Seay, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. (147), 8 and 7
Sabrina Iqbal, San Jose, Calif. (143) def. Sierra Brooks, Sorrento, Fla. (144), 4 and 3
Maria Fassi, Mexico (139) def. Gabriela Coello, Venezuela (146), 4 and 3
Marni Murez, Manhattan Beach, Calif. (142) def. Monica Dibildox, Mexico (145), 1 up

Pairings

TULSA, Okla. – Pairings for Thursday’s second round of match play at the 2015 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, being conducted on the 6,076-yard, par-70 Tulsa Country Club course (all times CDT):

Upper Bracket
7 a.m. – Megan Khang, Rockland, Mass. (132) vs. Naomi Ko, Canada (144)
7:09 a.m. – Lauren Hartlage, Elizabethtown, Ky. (141) vs. Alyaa Abdulghany, Newport Beach, Calif. (145)
7:18 a.m. – Malia Nam, Kailua, Hawaii (138) vs. Chakansim (Fai) Khamborn, Thailand (145)
7:27 a.m. – Aubree Jones, Covington, Tenn. (138) vs. Eun Jeong Seong, Republic of Korea (145)
7:36 a.m. – Muni He, People’s Republic of China (136) vs. Annika Cedo, Philippines (144)
7:45 a.m. – Jessica Mangrobang, Chula Vista, Calif. (139) vs. Gina Kim, Chapel Hill, N.C. (141)
7:54 a.m. – Yu Sang Hou, Chinese Taipei (137) vs. Jayna Choi, Collierville, Tenn. (143)
8:03 a.m. – Lucy Li, Redwood City, Calif. (139) vs. Karah Sanford, Escondido, Calif. (142)

Lower Bracket
8:12 a.m. – Kathleen Scavo, Benicia, Calif. (147) vs. Ellie Slama, Salem, Ore. (144)
8:21 a.m. – Adeena Shears, Elizabeth, W.Va. (145) vs. Evelyn Arguelles, Mexico (145)
8:30 a.m. – Mika Liu, Beverly Hills, Calif. (138) vs. Kelly Sim, Republic of Korea (143)
8:39 a.m. – Aneka Seumanutafa, Frederick, Md. (146) vs. Courtney Dow, Frisco, Texas (142)
8:48 a.m. – Jaravee Boonchant, Thailand (136) vs. Yujeong Son, Republic of Korea (144)
8:57 a.m. – Angel Yin, Arcadia, Calif. (140) vs. Maria Balcazar, Mexico (145)
9:06 a.m. – Andrea Lee, Hermosa Beach, Calif. (137) vs. Sabrina Iqbal, San Jose, Calif. (143)
9:15 a.m. – Maria Fassi, Mexico (139) vs. Marni Murez, Manhattan Beach, Calif. (142)

 

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