Doris Chen wins rematch with Public Links champion Diaz-Yi in U.S. Women’s Amateur
It’s been a roller-coaster year for Doris Chen, but a year with more ups than downs. The 20-year-old native of Chinese Taipei helped Southern Cal win the NCAA women’s golf championship, made it to the final of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, made the cut in the U.S. Women’s Open and now is headed to the semifinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur.
U.S. Women’s Amateur
If you go
WHEN: Through Sunday
WHERE: Country Club of Charleston
TODAY’S SCHEDULE: Semifinal matches begin at 10 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.
PARKING: No parking at the Country Club. Public parking is available at the vacant space located at Folly Road and Albemarle Road, with shuttles running every 15 minutes from 5:15 a.m. until 9 p.m.
TV: The Golf Channel (4-6 p.m.)
Chen scored a 4 and 3 quarterfinal victory Friday over Lauren Diaz-Yi and exacted a small amount of revenge for what happened in the final of Public Links championship. In June Diaz-Yi beat Chen, 10 and 9, in the 36-hole final. It was the largest margin of victory in the history in the Public Links.
Also advancing Friday were Yueer Cindy Feng, who beat Annie Park, 6 and 4; Alison Lee, a 4 and 3 winner over Katelyn Sepmoree; and Emma Talley, who beat Su-Hyun Oh in 19 holes. The Golf Channel had to love the Talley-Oh match, the only one lasting past 5 p.m. and the only match that made it to the 18th hole. It ended at 6:15 p.m. when Oh, the No. 2-ranked women’s amateur player, missed a three- to four-foot putt on the first extra hole (No. 10) that would have extended the match.
Chen will face Feng at 10 a.m. in Saturday’s first semifinal, while Lee will meet Emma Talley at 10:15 a.m.
There has been a change in Sunday’s schedule because of the potential for bad weather. The first round of the scheduled 36-hole final will start at 8 a.m., and the second 18 will begin at 1 p.m.
The Public Links might not have been the motivating factor Chen needed Friday, but she certainly had not forgotten about it.
“I thought about it. Yesterday people were asking me about it,” said Chen, who in 2010 beat Goose Creek’s Katelyn Dambaugh in the final of the U.S. Girls’ Junior.
Chen explained that she had pushed herself too hard at the Public Links in an effort make a break-through.
“Not that Lauren’s not a good player. She’s great. I was upset that I didn’t even perform,” Chen said.
Chen’s match with Diaz-Yi did not get off to a good start. She hit her approach over the green and lost the hole. But Chen squared the match on the next hole and birdied the par-3 third hole to take a 1-up advantage.
Diaz-Yi won the par-5 fifth with a bogey to square the match again, but Chen went on a run and won the final three holes on the front nine to take a 3-up advantage, winning 7 with a birdie, 8 with a par and 9 with a birdie.
Chen and Diaz-Yi added another chapter in the history of the storied par-3 11th, halving the hole with double bogeys.
Diaz-Yi hit her tee shot into the left bunker and then saw her shot from the sand trickle down the steep false front.
Chen hit her tee shot to the back of the green with a front pin position and then putted the ball too hard, with it rolling past the hole and down the false front.
Diaz-Yi, who missed a bogey putt that would have won the 11th, also missed an opportunity at 12 when she failed to get up and down while Chen three-putted.
The 13th was halved with pars, Chen scored a dagger with a birdie on 14 to go 4-up and dormie in the match, and Chen closed the deal with a solid par on the 15th.
Chen said she was shocked at the 11th hole, and that she simply misjudged the speed of the green.
“I think I played pretty well,” Chen said. “I made a couple of little mistakes because I think the pin placements were harder. Today was windy.”
Diaz-Yi, who will be a freshman at the University of Virginia, said she left herself short too many times.
“I definitely could have won 11 and 12 back to back,” she said. “I didn’t capitalize on the opportunity. The front nine was kind of steady. At the end she stuck like three shots and capitalized on those birdies. I didn’t make as many birdies but that’s golf. I had a pretty good week. Getting this far is a big accomplishment. Doris going to the semifinals, it’s going to be awesome to see her play there. I wish her the best of luck.”