Birchmont champion Amy Anderson reaches finals of U.S. Junior Girls tournament
BEDMINSTER, N.J. (AP) -- Medalists Jordan Spieth of Dallas and Amy Anderson of Oxbow, N.D. scored semifinal victories to advance to the finals of the boys and girls USGA Junior Amateur championships on Friday.
Spieth, 15, will play Jay Hwang, 16, of San Diego in the boys final, while Anderson will play Kimberly Kim, 17, of Hilo, Hawaii for the girls crown. The championships will be played over 36 holes on Saturday on the New Course at the Trump National Golf Club.
Anderson was the 2008 Birchmont Ladies Champion at Bemidji Town & Country Club. She is not entered into the field for next week's Birchmont. Her brother Nathan, who was the 2008 Birchmont Men's Champ, is serving as caddy.
Anderson, who lives in a town of 300 people -- what she calls a golf course surrounded by homes -- chipped in from 20 feet to save par on the 18th hole and then won the match on the 19th hole when Luz Alejandra Cangrejo of Colombia hit her tee shot into the hazard on the 10th hole and eventually conceded.
Kim, who won the U.S. Women's Amateur in 2006 as a 14-year-old, played 14 holes in 7 under in posting a 5 and 4 win over Doris Chen of Bradenton, Fla.
The most interesting matches of the day involved Spieth and Anderson, who were the low scorers in the 36-hole stroke play on Monday and Tuesday that set the fields of 64 for match play.
Anderson, 17, has been the biggest surprise this week. She plays golf about five months a year, and she has made the most of this event after driving here with her family.
She also got lucky.
Two down with three to play, she tied the match when Cangrejo bogeyed the 16th and 17th holes. All appeared lost at the 18th when she faced a 20 footer from off the green for par with her opponent 3 feet from the hole for par.
However, Anderson used a lob wedge to chip in.
"It was definitely a miracle," Anderson said. "First it was a question to putt or chip and there was too much scruffy grass to putt. My caddie told me to play it right edge and I pulled it, but it had cut spin so it broke right in the hole."
Anderson felt sorry for Cangrejo, who was in tears after the match.
"It's not the way you want to lose or win a match," Anderson said.
Kim, who struggled with her putting in a 1 up win over Jennifer Johnson in the quarterfinals on Friday morning, made everything with her putter in the semifinal. She also added an eagle on the par-4, third hole, sinking a wedge from about 57 yards.
Kim is trying to become the first golfer to win the Women's Amateur and then the junior amateur, an event for players 17-years-old and under.
"It would be cool but you never know what will happen tomorrow," said Kim, who will be playing in her fourth USGA final. She also finished second twice in the Women's Amateur Public Links.
The Bemidji Pioneer contributed to this report.