After winning an NCAA team title last month with her USC teammates, Doris Chen is one step away from adding a U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links trophy to her haul from the summer of 2013.
Chen, who won the U.S. Girls' Junior title in 2010, was co-medalist this week at the Jimmie Austen OU Golf Club, completing the 36-hole stroke-play portion in 8-under 136. The 20-year-old has been living life on the edge this week in Norman, Okla.; in her second-round match, Chen was 1 down after 15 holes and never led in the match until she claimed the 18th hole to win the match, 1 up. She needed 19 holes to win her match in the round of 16, then was 1 down after 17 holes in her quarterfinal Friday morning before winning both the 18th and 19th holes to take the match.
Chen got off to a hot start in her semifinal against Julie Yang, taking five of the first six holes en route to a 5-and-4 win. After she completes Saturday's 36-hole final, the 20-year-old will head to New York, where she has a spot in the field at next week's U.S. Women's Open at Sebonack Golf Club.
Opposing Chen in Saturday's final will be Jennifer Diaz-Yi, 18, from Thousand Oaks, Calif. Diaz-Yi, who will play collegiately for the University of Virginia in the fall, has taken a much less stressful route to the final than Chen, with only one of her first five matches going beyond the 16th hole. That includes her semifinal win over Raychelle Santos, a match in which Diaz-Yi never trailed and ultimately won, 4 and 3.
Saturday's final will mark the conclusion of the penultimate U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship, as the USGA announced earlier this year that the tournament will be replaced in 2015 by a new event, the U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball Championship.