Chen, Park, McDonald, Dambaugh Into Final Four July 22, 2010 By USGA

Ally McDonald pulled out a third consecutive tight match, this time beating Argentina's Victoria Tanco, 1 up, in Friday's quarterfinals. McDonald's last three matches have gone at least to the 18th hole or beyond. (John Mummert/USGA) 

Village of Pinehurst, N.C. – Doris Chen, 17, of Bradenton, Fla., earned a trip to the semifinals of the U.S. Girls’ Junior for the second consecutive year with a 1-up victory over stroke-play medalist Danielle Kang Friday morning at The Country Club of North Carolina.

Chen got off to a slow start at the 2010 championship. She struggled during the two rounds of stroke play, making no birdies, and made the cut by a stroke. But she has become increasingly comfortable on the 6,331-yard Dogwood Course at CCNC.

I didn’t play well the first two rounds, said Chen. I wasn’t hitting the ball as well in the practice rounds. Since the third round, I am hitting more back to normal. I know where I cannot hit it. I am just improving every day.

The match was tight throughout for Chen and Kang, a four-time Girls’ Junior participant who was trying to become the second consecutive stroke-play medalist to win the title. Against the 17-year-old Kang of Thousand Oaks, Calif., Chen never trailed and was the equivalent of 1-under par, with the usual match-play concessions, and Kang was even par for 18 holes.

I would get one back and then she would take one right back, said Kang. We started out parring together and then I got a little greedy and I went at a pin I shouldn’t have and dunked it in the bunker and made a bogey. Then I three-putted.

Despite the loss, Kang was happy with her week at the Girls’ Junior.

This week I proved to myself that if I just stay calm, I can play my best, said Kang. My decisions cost me some shots this week and not my temper, and I’m really proud of that. I kept calm and cool and that’s what I asked of myself in this tournament. I wanted to go on but I’m not disappointed in how I played.

Chen’s semifinal opponent Friday afternoon will be Gyeol Park, 14, of Korea, who advanced with a 3-and-2 victory over Mariko Tumangan, 16, of San Jose, Calif. Park, who is playing in her first USGA championship, is the youngest of the semifinalists.

Also playing in her first USGA championship is Katelyn Dambaugh, 15, of Goose Creek, S.C., who arrived at CCNC with modest expectations. After a 2-and-1 quarterfinal victory over Stephanie Liu of St. Albans, Mo., Dambaugh finds herself two wins from the title.

I didn’t expect to get this far, said Dambaugh, who is aiming to become the first female left-handed USGA champion in history. I was just hoping to make the cut.

Dambaugh will face Ally McDonald, 17, of Fulton, Miss., in the afternoon’s other semifinal. McDonald, who missed the cut by a stroke at the 2009 Girls’ Junior, earned a hard-fought 1-up victory over 16-year-old Victoria Tanco of Argentina to advance.

McDonald built a 3-up lead after four holes but Tanco chipped away at the lead and eventually squared the match when McDonald bogeyed No. 14. But a bogey by Tanco two holes later gave McDonald the lead for good.

The 2010 U.S. Girls’ Junior continues with the semifinal matches Friday and concludes with Saturday’s 36-hole championship final. The U.S. Girls’ Junior is one of 13 championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association each year, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

Story written by Beth Murrison, USGA Manager of Championship Communications. For questions or comments, contact her at
bmurrison@usga.org .

Village of Pinehurst, N.C. – Results following Friday’s quarterfinal round of match play at the 2010 U.S. Girls’ Junior at the 6,331-yard, par-72 Country Club of North Carolina:

Round of 8
Upper Bracket
Doris Chen, Bradenton, Fla. (156) def. Danielle Kang, Thousand Oaks, Calif. (141), 1 up
Gyeol Park, Korea (144) def. Mariko Tumangan, San Jose, Calif. (145), 3 and 2

Lower Bracket
Ally McDonald, Fulton, Miss. (150) def. Victoria Tanco, Argentina (153), 1 up

Katelyn Dambaugh, Goose Creek, S.C. (151) def. Stephanie Liu, St Albans, Mo. (149), 2 and 1

Village of Pinehurst, N.C. – Pairings for Friday’s semifinal round of match play at the 2010 U.S. Girls’ Junior at the 6,331-yard, par-72 Country Club of North Carolina (All times EDT): 

1 p.m.                 Doris Chen, Bradenton, Fla. (156) vs. Gyeol Park, Korea (144)
1:30 p.m.            Ally McDonald, Fulton, Miss. (150) vs. Katelyn Dambaugh, Goose Creek, S.C. (151)