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Heath Hotzler, Published July 25 2009

Semifinal stand: Oxbow golfer Anderson advances to finals after win in extra holes

Amy Anderson is nearing the perfect conclusion to her Cinderella story.

Anderson defeated 16-year-old Luz Alejandra Cangrejo 1-up in 19 holes Friday afternoon to reach the finals of the U.S. Girls Junior Championship at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.

Anderson, who was little known on the national scene when the tournament opened, will begin play of a 36-hole final match against Kimberly Kim of Hawaii at 7 a.m. today.

“My approach is to shoot the absolutely lowest score possible (in the final),” said Anderson, a North Dakota State recruit who defeated Victoria Tanco 2 and 1 Friday morning to advance to the semis. “I’m playing Kimberly Kim, and she’s a phenomenal player. I’m going to go out there and play the course, do the best I can and see what happens.”

The tournament’s medalist, Anderson sprinted to an early 1-up lead in the semis by winning the first hole.

Anderson, 17, maintained her advantage until Cangrejo squared the match with a birdie on No. 3.

Cangrejo, who won the Columbian Women’s Amateur Championship at age 13, won holes No. 5, 6 and 7 to take a 3-up lead.

Anderson said she was confident she could come back from the deficit, just as she had in several previous matches during the tournament.

“I hadn’t given up by any stretch of the imagination,” she said. “… I knew I had better golf in me.”

Anderson worked her way back to within a hole of squaring the match with a birdie on No. 8, and a hole-winning double-bogey on No. 10.

Anderson said an approach shot on No. 8 – knocked to 8 feet of the cup from about 75-yards out – put her game back on track.

However, Cangrejo extended her lead to 2-up on No. 15 to heap pressure on Anderson with three holes remaining.

Pars by Anderson on Nos. 16 and 17 evened the match.

Back at the par-3, No. 10 for sudden death, Anderson crushed her tee-shot to within 15-feet of the pin. Cangrejo’s tee shot found a hazard to the right of the fairway.

Anderson two-putted for the win.

On the other side of the bracket, Kim advanced to the final with a 5 and 4 victory against Florida’s Doris Chen.

In 2006, Kim became the youngest ever to earn the 2006 U.S. Women’s Amateur title at age 14.

She finished second at the 2006 and 2009 U.S. Amateur Public Links, and competed in this year’s U.S. Women’s Open.

“I know how quickly things can change,” Anderson said. “(Down two late in the match) is a tough spot to be in. You can’t force anything to happen, you’ve got to hope something goes in. And it did.

“I can’t really take credit for it.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562.

Hotzler’s blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com