NORMAN — Thirty-two players arrived at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club Thursday morning. Only eight will return today.
Those who earned berths in the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links quarterfinals did so by winning two matches on a hot, wind-swept day. It truly was survival of the fittest.
Some were happier with the conditions than others.
“It was just a perfect day,” Anne-Catherine Tanguay said after topping Krista Puisite, 2-up Thursday afternoon. “I know how to play the course in these conditions. I think that really played to my advantage. You were thinking about the wind even when you were hitting putts.”
Tanguay, who beat Chaewon Park 5-and-3 in her first match of the day, was the lone player with OU ties to advance to the quarterfinals. Chirapat Jao-Javanil’s bid was upended by Raychelle Santos in the round of 16.
Their match was the only one in the afternoon that didn’t at least reach the 18th hole. Santos won it without making a birdie, but she managed to string together 15 pars, including nine straight to close out Jao-Javanil.
“My putting — my short game — saved my life here,” said Santos, who will be a sophomore at Gonzaga in the fall. “I kept making good shots out of the rough.”
Jao-Javanil, who was trying to reach the event’s semifinals for the second straight year didn’t have that kind of success.
“She kept making really good chips and I couldn’t make putts,” Jao-Javanil said. “It’s a really bad combination.”
Tanguay will meet Doris Chen in quarterfinals at 7:50 a.m. today. Theirs is the third of the day. Chen, who was the co-medalist in the stroke-play portion of the event, had to play 37 holes Thursday. She rallied from an early 3-hole deficit to beat Alyssa Ferrell in the second round, and in the afternoon, recorded a two-putt par on the first playoff hole to beat Kris Yoo.
“I am exhausted. I really need to take a break,” Chen said. “I don’t have the energy to practice.”
She was in a growing club, but some couldn’t hide the excitement of reaching the WAPL’s elite eight.
Lauren Diaz Yi, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., Karen Chung, of Livingston, N.J., Cindy Ha, of Demarest, N.J., and Krystal Quihuis, of Tucson, Ariz., also rolled into today’s matches by handling the elements Thursday.
Chung rallied for a come-from-behind 2-and-1 win over Casey Danielson Thursday afternoon. Chung will face Oklahoma State’s Julie Yang in the quarterfinals’ last match.
Yang topped Kelly Shon in 19 holes to earn the berth.
Diaz-Yi, who topped Grace Na 2-up to advance, will face Quihuis at 7:40 a.m.
Ha, who edged Ember Schuldt in 19 holes, and Santos will meet in today’s first match.
The four winners will meet in the afternoon, slicing the field down to two for Saturday’s 36-hole championship match.
The weather forecast in Norman calls for similar conditions today and Saturday to what the players faced Thursday.
“Hopefully, the wind will still be there. This feels nice. It’s not too hot,” Tanguay said. “I kinda like it like this.”
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