Radnor High senior Brynn Walker and Council Rock North senior Madelein Herr displayed their match-play prowess as they opened that portion of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship at the Streamsong Resort’s Blue Course in Streamsong, Fla. with a workmanlike 3 and 1 victory over Seminole State teammates Janelle Johnson and Nichada Satasuk.
I gave you some bad information as to Team WalkHerr’s opening-round opponent, but in match play it’s not necessarily whom you are playing as much as how you play that matters.
Johnson and Satasuk were fresh from leading Seminole State to a runnerup finish in the National Junior College Athletic Association Championship last week.
Walker, a two-time PIAA Class AAA champion, and Herr, the District One Class AAA winner, jumped in front with a birdie at the first, but then found themselves down a hole when Johnson and Satasuk won the second and third holes with birdies.
Walker, a North Carolina recruit, and the Penn State-bound Herr answered with birdies at six and seven to take a 1-up lead before losing the 11th to a par that squared the match.
But Walker and Herr closed strong, taking a 2-up lead by winning 13 with a birdie and 16 with a par. They then finished off the match by winning the par-5 17th with a birdie.
Team WalkHerr, which reached the semifinals in the inaugural edition of this championship a year ago at Bandon Dunes in Oregon, will take on the sister act of Yu Chiang Hou and Yu Sang Hou from Chinese Taipei in a round-of-16 match Tuesday morning at 7:12 a.m. The quarterfinal matches will follow Tuesday afternoon.
Yu Chiang Hou and Yu Sang Hou advanced with a 2 and 1 victory over Floridians Morgan Baxendale and Emma Bradley.
There were several upsets on the first day of match play, most notably a victory by another sister tandem, La Jolla (Calif.) High’s Nicole and Waverly Whiston, who knocked off the powerhouse combination of Kristen Gillman and Sierra Brooks, 1-up. Gillman of Austin, Texas is the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion and Brooks, of Sorrento, Fla. is the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur runnerup and a member of the 2016 U.S. Curtis Cup team.
Qualifying medalists Pauline Del Rosario and Princess Mary Superal of the Philippines survived the upset bug, though, with a 3 and 2 victory over Mikayla Fitzpatrick and Alisa Snyder.
Meghan Stasi, a four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur and eight-time Philadelphia Women’s Amateur champion, and Dawn Woodard rallied from 2-down with three holes to go to send their match with Tze Han Lin and Han Hsuan Yu of Chinese Taipei to extra holes. A birdie by Stasi on the second hole, the 20th of the match, gave Stasi and Woodard the win.
In the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball being held simultaneously at the Winged Foot Golf Club’s East Course in Mamaroneck, N.Y., Temple products and qualifying medalists Brandon Matthews and Patrick Ross cruised to a 4 and 3 win over Sachin Kumar of Trinidad & Tobago and Alberto Martinez of Weston, Fla. in their opening-round match.
Next up for Matthews, who has won two of the last three Golf Association of Philadelphia Open championships, and Ross, will be Ohio State teammates Clark Engle and Will Grimmer.
The duo of Matthew Finger of DuPont Country Club and Michael Korcuba of Medford Village Country Club ran into defending champions Nathan Smith, a four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, and Todd White and suffered a 6 and 5 setback.