Seong, Carta advance to US Women's Amateur semifinals
SPRINGFIELD, Pa. (AP) South Korea's Eun Jeong Seong and Italy's Virginia Elena Carta advanced to the all-international U.S. Women's Amateur semifinals Friday, keeping alive their bids for rare season sweeps.
The 16-year-old Seong is trying to become the first player to win the event and U.S. Girls' Junior in the same season. The 19-year-old Carta - the oldest of the final four - is attempting to become the second player to win the tournament and NCAA individual title in the same year.
The tournament will have the first all-international championship match since 1910, with 15-year-old Yuka Saso of the Philippines and 18-year-old Mathilda Cappeliez of France also advancing.
Seong beat 17-year-old Andrea Lee of Hermosa Beach, California, with a par on the 18th hole in a rematch of Seong's final victory over her friend last month in the U.S. Girls' Junior in New Jersey.
''Yeah, maybe almost every breakfast and lunch with Andrea, we're kidding around,'' Seong said. ''But in the match, we're very serious.''
Seong will face Cappeliez, a 19-hole winner over Australia's Hannah Green.
Carta beat Puerto Rico's Maria Torres 3 and 1, and Saso outlasted Japan's 17-year-old Nasa Hataoka 1 up.
Carta won the NCAA individual title in May as a Duke freshman. She's trying to join Vicki Goetze (1992) as the only players to win the Amateur and NCAA in the same year, and the sixth to win both titles. Carta also is trying to become the second Italian winner, following Silvia Cavalleri in 1997.
She overcame a five-hole deficit against Torres, winning five consecutive holes.
''I don't know why last night I was feeling super nervous, and as I woke up this morning, it was the same thing,'' Carta said. ''It was kind of tough. This is why after winning I cried, because all of my emotions kind of went away. I was excited, but it was super, super tough.''
Cappeliez also rallied, overcoming a three-hole deficit against Green. Green had a chance to win on the 18th, but lipped out a mid-range putt, and Cappeliez won with a par on the 19th
''I thought I was done,'' Cappeliez said. ''I didn't putt well today. ... Even though my putting was not here, my long game was pretty good. This year, I didn't play a lot of tournaments because I had school and graduation, so I'm just enjoying myself.''
Saso closed out Hataoka with a par on 18.
''I feel really great,'' Saso said. ''I'm thankful and I'm looking forward to the next couple days.''
Hannah O'Sullivan, the Chandler, Arizona, teen who won last year in Portland, Oregon, skipped her title defense. She played last week in the Women's British Open.