Seong, Carta advance in US Women's Amateur at Rolling Green
SPRINGFIELD, Pa. (AP) South Korea's Eun Jeong Seong and Italy's Virginia Elena Carta each won two matches Thursday in the U.S. Women's Amateur to keep 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, and the 19-year-old Carta is attempting to become the second player to win the tournament and NCAA individual title in the same year.
Seong beat Thailand's Chakansim (Fai) Khamborn 5 and 4 in the morning in the round of 32 at Rolling Green, and topped fellow South Korean player Hye-Jin Choi 6 and 5 in the afternoon round of 16.
''If I don't know the player style or her ranking, I can play my (game),'' Seong said about facing Choi, the top-ranked South Korean amateur and Canadian Women's Amateur champion. ''But I know her. I really know her. I know she's a good player, and that's why I cannot trust me.''
Seong will face 17-year-old Andrea Lee of Hermosa Beach, California, in a rematch of her victory last month in the U.S. Girls' Junior final at Ridgewood in Paramus, New Jersey. Seong won that match 4 and 2 to become the first player to successfully defend the title since 1971.
Lee beat Robynn Ree of Redondo Beach, California, 6 and 4 in the round of 16. An incoming freshman at Stanford, Lee was the only U.S. Curtis Cup player to reach the quarterfinals.
''I played really well today,'' Lee said. ''My shots were really good, and I made the birdie putts that I needed to.''
In the other lower-bracket quarterfinal, Australia's Hannah Green will play France's Mathilda Cappeliez. Green beat France's Celine Boutier 4 and 3, and Cappeliez topped Thailand's Paphangkorn Tavatanakit 1 up.
In the upper bracket, Carta, the NCAA individual champion as a Duke freshman in May, will face Puerto Rico's Maria Torres, and Japan's 17-year-old Nasa Hataoka will play 15-year-old Yuka Saso of the Philippines.
Carta beat Jessica Porvasnik of Hinckley, Ohio, 3 and 2.
''It feels really good to be able to play tomorrow for sure,'' Carta said. ''I'm really excited to have that opportunity.''
Carta is 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.
''I don't want to focus on the big picture, and this is what I learned at nationals this year, that I didn't have to think about winning or scoring low,'' Carta said. ''I just had to think about every single shot and like what iron to pick and where to hit, and that was the key that made me win nationals, so I think that's the key, also, to playing my best game this week.''
Torres, a senior at Florida, edged Dylan Kim of Plano, Texas, 5 and 4; Hataoka topped Katelyn Dambaugh of Goose Creek, South Carolina, 2 and 1; and Saso beat Hailee Cooper of Montgomery, Texas, also 2 and 1.
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.