Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Day of Upsets at U.S. Girls' Junior Championship

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Day of Upsets at U.S. Girls' Junior Championship

Article excerpt

Ami Gianchandani's face was soaked when she hit her tee shot on the 18th hole during a pounding rain Thursday afternoon.

Not long after, with the sun breaking through clouds at Boone Valley Golf Club, it was soaked again, this time by tears after she pulled off a surprise win at the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship.

Gianchandani made a 4-foot putt to beat Paphangkorn Tavatanakit 1 up in match play in what was a string of upsets that eliminated what was left of the entire top 10 from stroke play earlier in the week.

"Very emotional," Gianchandani said. "This is my third time playing this event and first time making the cut, so that was my goal coming here. Sort of an extension of that goal was to make it past the round of 64. I can't believe I'm going to the round of eight."

The quarterfinals and semifinals will be played Friday.

Soon after the win by Gianchandani (Watchung, N.J.), 15-year-old Taylor Roberts and NCAA individual runner-up Haley Moore went to an extra hole. Roberts (Parkland, Fla.), who was 60th in stroke play, overcame a poor tee shot and dropped her next shot within three feet of the hole and won with a birdie.

Her resurgence came after she was 8 over par in the Monday-Tuesday rounds.

"I played really good the first round, but we were rushed on the final four holes and I made three bogeys," Roberts said. "The second round I didn't have a lot of confidence and was really nervous. ... I barely made the cut and now I'm in the (final) eight, so it's incredible."

By the time the afternoon round started, most of the top scorers from stroke play had been sent home. Many who played well early in the week were unable to maintain consistency while many who struggled made necessary adjustments.

Medalist Lucy Li lost to Yu-Sang Hou 2 and 1, and first-day leader Mika Liu fell to Haylin Harris 1 up. Also losing in the morning was Nicole Whiston, who was third in stroke play, to Erica Shepherd 3 and 1.

Jennifer Chang (Cary, N.C.) is one of those who did not take a quick liking to the course. She shot 76 in the first round Monday with two bogeys and two double-bogeys.

"I was working on my swing after that round and studied the course more and realized the areas where I should hit vs. …

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