CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Danielle Kang defeated Sydnee Michaels on the first hole of a playoff Friday and advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur.
Kang will face Jennifer Kirby, who beat Kristen Park 6 and 4. Stephanie Sherlock, a 2 and 1 winner against Junthima Gulyanamitta, will face Jessica Korda, who eliminated Erynne Lee 4 and 3.
Kang, one of two Americans still in contention, had a chance to close her match in regulation but missed a putt and swung her club in disgust. She nailed the green in two on No. 10 immediately afterward for a much smoother finish.
“Usually I tell myself not to get angry on the golf course,” Kang said. “I try to keep cool all the time, but the last (regulation) hole really got on my nerves. It got to me, really badly, when I three-putted that. That’s something you shouldn’t do.”
On the playoff hole, Michaels missed long into the rough. She then got caught in the long grass on the edge of the green on her next shot.
Kang said her father helped her keep things in perspective after the missed putt.
“I was upset,” she said. “But when I came down on the last hole, my dad made the comment to me to pretend that we were going to give them more entertainment … That made me happy.”
Kirby built an early lead, then coasted against Park, who won the U.S. Girls Junior in 2007. Kirby and Sherlock are attempting to become the first Canadians to win the event since Cathy Sherk in 1978.
“I’m not thinking about that,” Kirby said. “With match play, you just have to think about the hole you’re on because that’s the most important thing. I’m not going to get into the finals if I don’t win the holes before that.”
The forecast for Saturday’s semifinals at Charlotte Country Club calls for muggy but cooler weather in the upper 70s, with a chance of thunderstorms. The final 36 holes are Sunday.