July 22, 2016

PARAMUS, N.J. (AP) Defending champion Eun Jeong Seong of South Korea and American Andrea Lee each won twice Friday at Ridgewood to advance to the championship match in the U.S. Girls' Junior.

The 16-year-old Seong beat China's Xinying Wang 3 and 2 in the morning quarterfinals and topped fellow South Korean player Yujeong Son 4 and 3 in the afternoon semifinals. Seong is trying to join Judy Eller (1957-1958) and Hollis Stacy (1969-1971) as the only players to win consecutive Girls' Juniors titles.

''I need to enjoy tomorrow,'' Seong said. ''I will feel better tomorrow because I'm rested. I will have confidence tomorrow. I will try.''

The 17-year-old Lee, from Hermosa Beach, California, beat Waverly Whiston of San Diego 4 and 3 in the quarterfinals and edged co-qualifying medalist Hye-Jin Choi of South Korea 1 up in the semifinals. Lee won the 17th and 18th with birdies to top Choi.

''I came off a bogey on 16, and it was a little disappointing,'' Lee said. ''But I just went into 17 thinking anything can happen. I still have two holes left. I've seen match play before, and people always come back. I just thought that I could accomplish that.''

The Stanford-bound Lee squared the match with a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-5 17th. ''That really boosted my momentum,'' Lee said.

On the 18th, Choi missed a 15-footer, and Lee made a downhill 8-footer to wrap up a spot in the 36-hole championship match.

''It means the world to me,'' Lee said. ''I'm just taking it all in right now, but I'm new to being in the finals. I'm playing with a really good friend of mine, Eun Jeong, tomorrow. Obviously, she won this event last year, so I'm going to be competing against the top player. But I'm just going to stick to my game plan, hopefully play like I've been the whole week, and see what happens.''

You May Like