Li medalist again in 70th U.S. Girls’ Amateur

Luci Li of Redwood Shores earned medalist honors for the second straight year in the fog-delayed 70th U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship and advanced to match play as the top seed at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach.

The 15-year-old Li carded a score of 62-69—131, 11-under-par, missing the tournament scoring record by one stroke, while Yealimi Noh of Concord, who last week won the Girls Junior PGA Championship, was second at 66-70—136, followed by Brooke Seay of Rancho Santa Fe at 67-70—137, and Ashley Lau Jeb Jen of Malaysia at 69-69—138.

“Nobody told me anything (about the record),” said Li, who missed a five-foot birdie putt on the last hole. “Honestly, it doesn’t matter. I didn’t putt as well (in round two). I think they put a couple of tougher pins out there. There were a few that were right over the false fronts and some tucked pins.

“The main goal is to get through stroke play and when the match play starts, it’s a completely different tournament.”

Defending champion Erica Shepherd of Glenwood, Ind., shot 70-69—139 to tie for fifth with Ivy Shepherd of Peachtree City, Ga., who wound up at 68-71—139, Gina Kim of Chapel Hill, N.C., who finished at 68-71—139, and Yujeong Son of South Korea, who came in at Yujeong Son of South Korea.

Heeji Kim of South Korea was ninth at 71-69—140, while Zoe Campos of Valencia shot 71-70—141 to tie for 10th with Ashley Menne of Surprise, Ariz., who finished at 69-72—141.

Only half of the 156-player field completed the second and final round of stroke play on Tuesday because of a 4½-hour fog delay before play could begin. The second round was completed late Wednesday and the 64 players who advance went straight into match play.

Other Californians advancing after 36 holes were No. 17 Amari Avery of Riverside at 69-74—143, No. 19 Ashley Shim of San Mateo at 72-71—143, No. 22 Yukino Yoshihara of Irvine at 74-70—144, No. 25 Elizabeth Wang of San Marino at 75-70—125, No. 29 Hayley Borja of Lake Forest at 75-71—146, No. 38 Calista Reyes of San Diego at 76-71—147, No. 40 Madelyn Gamble of Pleasant Hill at 74-73—147, No. 44 S. Phad of Bakersfield at 76-72—148, and No. 47 Katherine Zhu of San Jose at 77-71—148.

There was a playoff among 14 players for the final 10 spots in match play after they all finished two rounds at 151.

Among those 10 who advanced were Lauren Gomez of San Diego, who shot 73-78—151, and Catherine Park of Irvine, who totaled 75-76–151.

For complete results, visit http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/championships/2018/u-s–girls–junior.html#!scoring.

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