Aubert Captures 88th Women's Amateur
It was Jessica Dreesbeimdieke (pictured below) who came out on top to capture medalist honors at the 88th Women's Amateur Championship. Shooting her second consecutive under par round, Dreesbeimdieke will enter this afternoon's match as the top seeded individual. Playing the King & Bear at World Golf Village this morning, Jessica carded five birdies to shoot two-under par, proving she could handle both courses with ease. Jessica draws 32nd seed, Antonia Poate in the first round of match play, which will take place this afternoon at the King & Bear.
It was moving day this morning and Sophie Membrino took full advantage. Playing St. Johns Country Club today, Sophie backed up her 70 yesterday at the King & Bear with a 69 to move up five spots for a share of second place. Starting off strong with three birdies in her first six holes, she ended up making the turn at one-under par, but regained control of her round with three more birdies on the back nine to finish the round with a three-under par 69. "It [today's round] is going to give me a lot of confidence for matches later this afternoon and hopefully into the weekend," Sophie said.
Dreesbeimdieke and Membrino were just two of the ten players who finished the stroke play portion of the 88th Women's Amateur under par. After 36 holes, the field was cut to 32 players who will begin the match play portion of the championship this afternoon at the King & Bear. Upon completion of stroke play, players four-over par and better earned an automatic spot in match play, while the nine women who finished at five-over par went into a playoff at the King & Bear for the final five match play spots.
Round of 32
After a slight delay due to inclement weather in the area, the Round of 32 matches began at approximately 3:00 P.M. at the King & Bear at World Golf Village. The final individual to nab a spot in the match play round, Antonia Poate, drew stroke play medalist Jessica Dreesbeimdieke in the first round. It took all 18 holes for the match with Jessica finishing one up and earning her spot in the Round of 16. The shortest match of the Round of 32 came from 14th seed, Annie Kim, and 19th seed, Andie Shukow. Starting out of the gate strong, Shukow defeated Kim 5 and 4. No matches in the Round of 32 went into extra holes, however five matches, including top-seeded Dreesbeimdieke’s match went to the 18th hole. Also moving on to match play is two-time Women’s Amateur champion, Meghan Stasi who defeated Amelia Williams of Gainesville 1 up.
Round of 16
It was a beautiful sunny morning for golf when the Round of 16 matches began at 7:30 AM. The number one seed, Dreesbeimdieke, defeated Morgan Baxendale 4 and 3 to continue her hot streak into the Quarterfinals Saturday afternoon. Ramya Meenakshisundaram (pictured below) secured her spot in the Quarterfinals after defeating Jacksonville University's Hannah Berman 2 and 1. Sophie Liu, a sophomore at the University of Iowa, took down four time U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Champion and past Women's Amateur Champion, Meghan Stasi 3 and 2. Shannon Aubert, who plays for Stanford, and Hallianne Hobson, who plays for Samford University, defeated their opponents, Alejandra Merchan and Sophie Membrino 2 and 1, respectively. Karoline Tuttle took Megan Schofill to the 18th hole to continue on as the youngest player in the field winning her match 1 up. Ashley Zagers has battled to the Quarterfinals, after earning her spot in the match play field in a nine person play-off, defeating Andie Shukow 1 up on the 18th hole. Finishing out the Round of 16 is Jamie Freedman (pictured right), a senior at Nova Southeastern University, who beat the number six seed, Kimberly Benedict, 4 and 3. No matches in the Round of 16 went on to extra holes.
Ramya Meenakshisundaram is the first player to advance to the Semifinals, defeating her opponent, Dreeskbeimdieke, the number one seed, winning 5 & 3. Stanford standout, Shannon Aubert, defeats 2016 runner-up Sophie Liu, 4 & 3 to earn a spot in the Semifinals. Aubert carded a two-under par 35 on the front and continued her streak on the back with 2 more birdies. Freedman and Zagers went back and forth throughout their match, but Freedman was able to capitalize on an error by Zagers, win the 17th hole and then close out the match on 18. Tuttle and Hobson was the only match to go into extra holes since matches began, with Tuttle eventually winning on the 20th hole and taking the final spot in Sunday morning's Semifinal match.
The players arrived at World Golf Village for the final time to begin the Semifinal matches at 7:30 AM. Ramya Meenakshisundaram started her match off strong, winning the first hole with a birdie and holding her 1UP lead until the fourth hole, where opponent, Shannon Aubert, birdied to bring the match back to all square. For the rest of the match Aubert remained in the lead, winning the eighth, twelfth and then thirteenth to sit 3UP heading into the long par four 16, where both players made par to give Aubert the first spot in the afternoon Finals. In the second match, Jamie Freedman (pictured right) was off to a hot start, winning holes one and two to bring her to a quick 2UP lead over 13-year-old Karoline Tuttle (pictured right). Tuttle fought back to win the third with a birdie. Freedman, however, would not back down, winning six and seven to go 4UP heading to the tricky par 4, ninth. Tuttle was able to birdie again leaving Freedman 3UP at the turn. Tuttle continued the fight and won holes 11 and 12, but Freedman stayed steady, winning 13 and the eventually the match on 17, 2&1.
Aubert and Freedman headed to the first tee one last time to begin the Finals of the 88th Women's Amateur Championship. Freedman continued her steady play into the afternoon, winning the first hole and remained 1up through the first six holes. It wasn't until the dog leg seventh that Aubert was able to stick a tight wedge shot and sink her birdie putt to bring the match back to all square. Freedman then continued on to win 10 with a birdie and bring her back to 1UP. Both players continued their steady play, matching shot for shot, but Freedman constantly kept the lead, never letting Aubert get to 1UP. It wasn't until Aubert stuck her second shot on 17 to a foot that she finally was able to take the lead in the match. Heading into the final hole, Freedman would not give up the fight, birdying the par 5 18th and forcing extra holes. The long approach shot into the first green made for a tough challenge, but Aubert was able to come away with a steady up and down par to capture the title.