NORMAN — By Friday afternoon, the parking lot at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club was nearly empty. The 156-player field that en-gulfed the course for the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links five days earlier was down to just two players.
Doris Chen and Lauren Diaz-Yi will have the course all to themselves at 8 a.m. today when they meet in the 36-hole championship match.
Both kept their hopes alive for a United States Golf Association championship by surviving another grueling day Friday.
Chen, the 20-year-old member of USC’s national championship team, continued to be the field’s most resilient player. She advanced with a 19-hole victory over Oklahoma’s Anne-Catherine Tanguay in Friday morning’s quarterfinal round.
It had to feel like a road victory for Chen. There was a sizable gallery of OU fans following along with the group. They didn’t bother Chen.
“The crowds are great,” she said. “They are very polite.”
Chen rallied from one-hole deficit with a birdie on the par-5 18th hole to force a playoff. Chen then sank a 12-foot par putt on No. 1 to advance to semifinals.
Her afternoon match against Julie Yang didn’t have nearly as much drama. Chen rolled to a 5-and-4 victory.
“I got the green speed figured out,” Chen said. “I hit it better and I putted better as well. It was just a little adjustment with my swing, my focus and my putting.”
Yang, who played 39 holes on Thursday, knocked off Karen Chung to reach the semifinals. However, the 18-year-old admitted she didn’t have much gas left in the tank by the semifinal match.
“Physically, I was pretty drained,” Yang said. “Going into the second match, my mind wasn’t tired, but legs were giving away on me. I could feel it … I’ve played a lot of holes in the last two days.”