Kim Pressel Advance at Womens Am

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U.S. WomenROSWELL, Ga. -- Defending champion Jane Park, runner-up Amanda McCurdy and 17-year-olds Morgan Pressel and In-Kyung Kim were among the winners Wednesday in the opening round of match play at the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship.
 
Park, who will play for the University of Southern California, won 4-and-3 over Julie Huh on the Ansley Golf Club's Settindown Creek course in suburban Atlanta. McCurdy, who plays for Arkansas, won 4-and-3 over Marlowe Boukis.
 
Pressel, the runner-up in last month's U.S. Women's Open, birdied the first two holes to go 2-up and won four straight holes in one stretch before closing out the match with a birdie on No. 13 for a 7-and-5 victory over Sooji Cho.
 
Kim, the medalist here and recent U.S. Girls' Junior champion, rallied to win 2-and-1 over Megan McChrystal, the last of five players to survive a playoff for the final spots in match play. McChrystal had three straight birdies to lead 3-up after four holes.
 
``I played all right today,'' Pressel said. ``I hit two duck hook drives and one push, but those were the only three bad shots I hit today.''
 
Pressel's half of the draw features most of the prominent players in the field. She was to face Mina Harigae, another highly ranked junior, in the second round on Thursday morning. Harigae beat Pressel in the U.S. Girls' Junior two years ago, one match after Pressel ousted Michelle Wie.
 
A possible rematch in the third round against another of the country's standout juniors -- In-Bee Park -- looms for Pressel on Thursday afternoon, if both advance. Pressel defeated In-Bee Park in the third round of last year's U.S. Women's Amateur, one match after Park knocked Wie out of the tournament.
 
McCurdy and Jane Park are also in Pressel's half of the bracket. McCurdy made the cut in the U.S. Women's Open, and has played much of her best golf in USGA events. The same can be said of Jane Park, a finalist in the 2004 U.S. Girls' Junior.
 
Annie Thurman-Young, a member of the 2004 U.S. Curtis Cup team, advanced in the opposite bracket, as did Paige Mackenzie, who rallied from a 4-down deficit with five holes to play to defeat Washington teammate Amber Prange on the 19th hole.
 
Wie, the most prominent of the current amateurs, did not compete here after playing in LPGA events in Europe the last two weeks. The 15-year-old from Hawaii tied for second at the Evian Masters and tied for third at the Women's British Open.
 
The 36-hole final is Sunday.
 
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