Heck, Borja, Davis and Rao Reach Quarterfinals in 123rd U.S. Amateur

Four of the eight quarterfinalists in the 123rd United States Women’s Amateur Championship at Bel Air Country Club in Los Angeles have California connections after the rounds of 32 of 16 were completed on Thursday.

Rachel Heck (pictured) of Memphis, Tenn., who is a senior at Stanford, beat Rin Yoshida of Japan, 4 and 2, before taking out Nikki Oh of Torrance, 4 and 3.

“Going into the week I had absolutely no idea how it would go,” said Heck, the 2021 NCAA Individual Champion and Annika Award winner at Stanford. “I didn’t think it would go too great at all considering it’s my first tournament back since October. I’m just grateful to be here. I’m soaking it all in and not putting too much pressure on myself. I felt super relaxed out there today, so I think that mindset has helped a lot.”

Hailey Borja of Lake Forest, who plays at Michigan, defeated Sara Im of Duluth, Ga., 1 up, before getting past Bailey Shoemaker of Dade City, Fla. 3 and 2.

Anna Davis of Spring Valley, who captured the 2022 Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship, beat Camile Boyd of Yorba Linda, 3 and 2, and defeated Anne Chen of Sugar Land Texas, 4 and 3.

Catherine Rao of Camarillo, a sophomore at Princeton, downed Vanessa Zhang of Canada, 3 and 2, and needed 19 holes to take out Catie Craig of Sautee Nacoochee, Ga.

In addition, Megan Schofill of Monticello, Fla., who plays at Auburn, defeated Kelly Xu of Claremont and Stanford, 3 and 2, and took out Caitlin Pierce of Australia on the 19th hole.

Latanna Stone of Riverview, Fla., a graduate student at LSU, beat Rachel Kuehn of Asheville, N.C., and Wake Forest 2 and 1, and took 20 holes to eliminate Yana Wilson of Henderson, Nev., and Oregon.

“It was a tough match,” Stone, who has won six times since 2020, said of her meeting with Wilson. “We both played really well, and she was fighting back and so was I. The final stretch was when I was like: ‘OK, I’m making a lot of putts, I’m playing really good.’ I really hadn’t felt like that in the beginning of the round at all. I was just able to turn it around and flip the match.”

Kyra Ly of Portland, Ore., a sophomore at Oregon, ousted Andie Smith of Bluffton, S.C., 4 and 3, and got past Lauren Leigh of Loveland, Colo., 1 up.

Thienna Huynh of Lilburn, Ga., a sophomore at UNLV, edged Lauren Kim of Canada, 1 up, and beat Taylor Riley of San Diego and LSU, 4 and 3.

Said Huynh, who combined with Sara Im to win the 2022 U.S. Women’s Four-Ball Championship: “I would definitely say my game changes a lot when I go into match play. I like to go hole by hole, shot by shot. I’m pretty good about dismissing bad shots and even after a good shot, I can keep going and keep the momentum going.”

Craig upset medalist Briana Chacon of Whittier and Oregon in the round of 32, 4 and 2.

In the quarterfinals, Rao will face Heck in the first match, followed by Stone against Huynh, Ly vs. Borja and Davis against Schofill.

For complete results and semifinal pairings and results, visit https://championships.usga.org/uswomensamateur/2023/scoring.html

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