August 03, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Pa. (AP) China's Muni He made a 35-foot birdie putt on the 22nd hole to beat qualifying medalist Mariel Galdiano on Wednesday in the first round of the U.S. Women's Amateur.

The 17-year-old He got the last of the 64 spots in match play Wednesday morning in a playoff, holing a 22-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole. She three-putted for bogey on the first playoff hole Tuesday, and had to return Wednesday to fight four other players for the last position.

The 18-year-old Galdiano, from Pearl City, Hawaii, dropped out a day after setting the championship stroke-play qualifying record at 9-under 133. She became the third straight medalist to fall in the first round, following Bethany Wu in 2014 and Angel Yin last year.

Galdiano forced extra holes with a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th. She made the only two bogeys of the match, the first on the par-4 14th to drop into a tie and the second on the par-5 17th to fall a hole down.

He will face NCAA champion Virginia Elena Carta of Duke on Thursday. Elena Carta, from Italy, topped Rinko Mitsunaga of Roswell, Georgia, 5 and 4.

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