Round of 64: 5 Notable Matches July 26, 2017 | AUGUSTA, Mo. By Lisa Mickey and Ron Driscoll, USGA

Rachel Kuehn turned in a 66 on Tuesday, tying medalist Lucy Li for the lowest 18-hole score during stroke play. (USGA/Steven Gibbons)

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The opening round of match play in the 69th U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship on Wednesday features 32 18-hole matches. Of the 64 competitors that advanced, 25 are making their first start in a USGA championship. Here are five matches to keep an eye on at Boone Valley Golf Club:

No. 1 Lucy Li, Redwood Shores, Calif., vs. No. 64 Belinda Hu, San Ramon, Calif., 8 a.m. CDT

Li, 14, is three years removed from her memorable turn in the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst No. 2. She is the medalist, having recorded rounds of 71-66, and she noted that she hit the ball much better in the second round of stroke play on Tuesday. Competing in her ninth USGA championship, she is looking to improve on her past two Girls’ Juniors, when she advanced to the Round of 32 (2015) and the Round of 16 (2016). Hu, 17, survived a 4-for-1 playoff on Tuesday evening, making a par on the first hole to secure the 64th and final spot in match play. She plays at Harvard University and is also competing in her third straight Girls’ Junior. She missed the cut in 2015 and lost in the Round of 64 to Brooke Seay in 2016. 

No. 8 Rachel Kuehn, Asheville, N.C., vs. No. 59 Annick Haczkiewicz, Las Vegas, Nev., 8:36 a.m. CDT

Kuehn, 16, is eager to show her own mettle as the daughter of Brenda Corrie-Kuehn, a two-time USA Curtis Cup Team member and 1995 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur runner-up. Kuehn posted a 5-under-par 66 on Tuesday to seal a spot in match play in her second consecutive Girls' Junior. Haczkiewicz, 17, is playing in her first Girls’ Junior, advancing with rounds of 74-76. The daughter of two Cirque du Soleil acrobats, the teen shot a 9-under-par 63 for medalist honors last year in a Nevada regional high school tournament to lead her school's team into the state championship.

No. 18 Lois Kaye Go, the Philippines, vs. No. 47 Elle Szeryk, Canada, 10:51 a.m. CDT

Go, 18, was a 2017 All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection for Boston College, where she was named Rookie of the Year as the top women’s freshman in any sport. She has transferred to the University of South Carolina for the upcoming season . Go tied for 16th in stroke play with rounds of 73-72. Szeryk, 15, a dual citizen of Canada and the USA who resides in Allen, Texas, shot rounds of 76-73 to tie for 42nd place in stroke play. She is the younger sister of Maddie Szeryk, who competed in the U.S. Women’s Open last month.

No. 20 Elle Nachmann, Boca Raton, Fla., vs. No. 45 Brooke Seay, San Diego, Calif., 9:39 a.m. CDT

This match features a three-time AJGA Open winner (Nachmann) and the only player in the U.S. Girls’ Juniorwho made the 36-hole cut at the U.S. Women's Open (Seay) two weeks ago. Seay tied for 60th place in the Women's Open, while Nachmann won the 2017 Florida State Four-Ball with Dana Williams, who also competed in the U.S. Women’s Open. Nachmann is the niece of tennis professional Vince Spadea, who was ranked as high as 18th in the world in 2005. Seay, 16, brought the experience of four Girls' Juniors to Boone Valley.

No. 30 Kelly Sim, Edgewater, N.J., vs. No. 35 Erica Shepherd, Greenwood, Ind., 11:45 a.m. CDT

Sim, 17, returns to this championship after learning a costly lesson in 2016, when she was disqualified for signing for an incorrect score after reaching match play. The two-time New Jersey state high school champion stuck around The Ridgewood Country Club after the unfortunate incident for a few days to caddie for good friend Yujeong Son, who reached the semifinals. Shepherd, 16, is a two-time Indiana Girls State Junior champion who competed in the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open at CordeValle and who will also compete in the U.S. Women’s Amateur at San Diego Country Club two weeks from now.

Lisa D. Mickey is a Florida-based freelance writer who frequently contributes to USGA websites. Ron Driscoll is the manager of editorial services for the USGA. Email him at rdriscoll@usga.org.

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