Cindy Ha advances in US Girls’ Junior

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Cindy Ha beat qualifying medalist Angel Yin 2 and 1 on Thursday at Forest Highlands to reach the U.S. Girls’ Junior quarterfinals.

After a delay for lightning at the Meadow Course, the 17-year-old Ha won the par-4 15th with a 25-foot birdie putt and the par-4 16th with a par to take a 2-up lead and finished off the long-hitting Yin with a par for a halve on the par-3 17th.

“I thought, cruise it down there, get it to a tap-in putt and it just happened to go it,” Ha said about the long putt on No. 15. “I just got that momentum.”

Ha, a Vanderbilt recruit from Demarest, New Jersey, set up the third-round match with a 19-hole victory over Yealimi Noh of Concord, California in the morning session. The 15-year-old Yin, from Arcadia, California, beat Bailey Tardy of Norcross, Georgia, 1 up.

“I’ve never been so nervous in my life,” Ha said before facing Yin. “She hits the ball a mile and seeing her swing, it kind of intimidates you a little.”

Ha, a semifinalist last week in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links in Washington, will face Brigitte Dunne of Camarillo, California. Dunne beat Mary Janiga of Wellington, Florida, 4 and 3.

In the other upper-bracket quarterfinal, Princess Mary Superal of the Philippines will play Bethany Wu of Diamond Bar, California. Superal beat Kristen Gillman of Austin, Texas, 3 and 1, and Wu topped Rose Huang of Honolulu 4 and 2.

Mexico’s Marijosse Navarro, second in stroke-play qualifying, reached the lower-bracket quarterfinals, beating Fuzzy Brooks of Kingwood, Texas, in 19 holes. The 17-year-old Navarro, a three-time Women’s Mexican Amateur champion, was sixth this year for Texas A&M in the NCAA tournament.

Navarro will play Andrea Lee of Hermosa Beach, California, a 2-and-1 winner over Gigi Stoll of Tigard, Oregon.

In the other quarterfinal, Australia’s Shelly Shin will play Binny Lee of Frisco, Texas. Shin routed Clare Amelia Legaspi of the Philippines 6 and 5, and Binny Lee edged Sofia Chabon of the Philippines 2 up.

The semifinals are Friday afternoon, and the final is set for Saturday.

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