Published August 08 2012
Amy Anderson wins dramatic first-round match at U.S. Women's Amateur Golf ChampionshipForum staff reports
CLEVELAND – Trailing in the middle of the 17th fairway, North Dakota State’s Amy Anderson won the final two holes to claim a 1-up victory during Wednesday’s first round of match play at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Golf Championship.
Anderson, a 20-year-old from Oxbow, defeated Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand – a returning finalist from the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship.
“I’m very relieved,” Anderson said on a steamy afternoon at The Country Club. “Mentally, I was prepared to lose to her. It was a huge relief.”
In a nip-and-tuck match in which no lead was greater than 1 up, Jutanugarn appeared to gain momentum on No. 16. She miraculously holed out from a greenside bunker for an eagle. Anderson missed her 33-foot putt for an eagle, giving Jutanugarn a 1-up lead.
“That was a huge momentum changer,” Anderson said. “I’ve got a great chance to eagle the hole there then here comes her ball trickling in. It was a great shot.”
But Anderson two-putted for par on No. 17 while Jutanugarn’s 8-foot, par-saving putt lipped out. The two golfers were all even entering the final hole.
On the par-4, 385-yard 18, Anderson split the fairway while Jutanugarn’s tee shot found a bunker. She left her approach shot 20 feet short of the green, setting the table for Anderson.
With 112 yards to the hole, Anderson pinpointed her pitching wedge shot three feet from the hole. After Jutanugarn sank a par-saving putt, Anderson drained her birdie putt to win the match.
“Coming in, I honestly felt like the underdog,” said Anderson, who shot the equivalent of two-under par compared to Jutanugarn’s one-under. “I knew I would have to play my best. She’s a great, great player.”
In Thursday’s second round of 32 golfers, Anderson will play No. 1-ranked Lydia Ko, a 15-year-old from New Zealand.