Duke star moves into US Womens Am finale


USGAEUGENE, Ore. ' Duke star Amanda Blumenherst and NCAA champion Azahara Munoz advanced to the U.S. Womens Amateur final Saturday at Eugene Country Club.
Blumenherst, the three-time national college player of the year, beat 15-year-old Erynne Lee of Silverdale, Wash., 3 and 2. Munoz, the Arizona State star from Spain, held off compatriot and close friend Belen Mozo 4 and 3.
Blumenherst, a two-time Curtis Cup player, reached the 36-hole final for the second straight year. Last year at Crooked Stick, she lost 1-up to Maria Uribe.
Im just going to go out and play my game and give it my best shot, Blumenherst said. Im putting better than I was last year, which is good.
The only real difference that I might have kind of forgotten about last year was that it is 36 holes. And its so important to stay patient. Just because I think its easy to get frustrated or worried. But 36 holes is a lot of golf and really anything can happen. Im just going to make sure that I stay very patient.
Blumenherst, from Scottsdale, Ariz., squared the match against Lee with an 8-foot par putt on No. 9. It looked as if Blumenherst would take her first lead when she made a 30-footer for birdie on No. 10, but Lee answered from 27 feet.
Blumenherst did pull ahead with a par on No. 11, opened a two-hole lead with a par on No. 15 and ended the match with a birdie on the par-5 16th.
It was a grind, Blumenherst said. I didnt hit the ball as well as I have been at the beginning. My driver was going a little left. And the rough was just so thick that it kind of can be a little trickier.
Lee will be a high school sophomore.
I thought I played pretty well, said Lee, who qualified for the 2008 U.S. Womens Open. This was a really neat experience. Her game really taught me a lot. The fact that she is a long hitter, now I am going to work a little harder to hit it longer, too. I was a little nervous playing against her side by side, but from the very first tee, I was confident that I was going to do well today.
Munoz won the first hole with a par and never trailed.
It was really hard because, I mean, shes my best friend, Munoz said. It was really weird. But I guess it is what it is. We couldnt change who I was playing.
Mozo helped Southern California win the NCAA team title.
I knew it was going to be a really hard match today because I knew she was playing awesome, Mozo said. I guess I lost my magic.
Dukes Virada Nirapathpongporn, in 2003, was the last college winner.
Us college girls were due, Blumenherst said.
Munoz is trying to become the first player to sweep the NCAA and Womens Amateur in the same season since Georgias Vicki Goetze in 1992.
I think shes really skillful and a really great player, Mozo said. She made it because her stroke is perfect. I hope she can finish strong tomorrow.

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  • Full Coverage - U.S. Women's Amateur