OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. – Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn, the top-ranked player in the field, was forced to the 18th hole Thursday before beating Canada’s Jisoo Keel to advance to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Girls Junior Championship.
Jutanugarn made six birdies to beat Keel 1 up. Keel used two birdies of her own and four bogeys by Jutanugarn to stay in the match. The difference was Jutanugarn’s 75-yard wedge to 2 feet to set up a birdie on the par-5 18th hole. Keel missed a six-foot birdie putt, allowing Jutanugarn to close out the match.
“I just hope tomorrow I can make birdies like today, and no bogeys,” Jutanugarn said.
Jutanugarn will face eighth-seeded Gabriela Then of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., in Friday’s first quarterfinal match. Then beat Carolina Araskog of Locust Valley, N.Y., 5 and 4.
Amy Lee of Brea, Calif., beat Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif., 1 up, and plays Talia Campbell of Dallas in the quarterfinals. Campbell scored a 4 and 3 victory over Mariah Stackhouse of Riverdale, Ga., to advance.
Karen Chung of Livingston, N.J., beat Ashlan Ramsey of Milledgeville, Ga., 1 up and will face China’s Yu Liu, who beat Anne Cheng of Torrance, Calif., 1 up.
Summar Roachell of Conway, Ark., advanced with a 5 and 3 win over Aurora Kan of Boothwyn, Pa., and will face Dottie Ardina of the Philippines in the last quarterfinal. Ardina beat Yusse Cindy Feng of Orlando, Fla., 1 up.