KINGSTON SPRINGS, Tenn. – Alabama’s Lauren Stephenson, Kristen Gillman and Jiwon Jeon will play for spots in the semifinals at the 2018 U.S. Women’s Amateur on Friday at the at the par-71, 6,365-yard Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs, Tenn.
The Crimson Tide golfers, who entered this year’s tournament ranked No. 5, No. 6 and No. 10 in the latest World Amateur Golf Rankings, each posted a pair of match play victories Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals.
Coverage of Friday’s quarterfinals will begin at 3 p.m. CT on FS1.
Gillman defeated No. 9-seed Janet Mao of Northwestern, 3-and-2 in her morning Round of 32 match to advance to the afternoon Round of 16. The Austin, Texas, native then won three of the first four holes against No. 8-seed Bailey Tardy of the University of Georgia to cruise to a 5-and-4 victory.
Gillman will face top-seeded Lucy Li of Redwood Shores, California, in Friday’s quarterfinals at 1:45 p.m. Li entered this week’s U.S. Amateur ranked No. 9 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. Gillman, who won the U.S. Amateur as a 16-year-old in 2014, will be making her third appearance in the quarterfinals. She also reached this stage at the 2015 tournament.
“I thought today was really good match,” Gillman said. “I had seven birdies and one bogey. I was going after all the pins. I’m really excited to play Lucy. I think it will be a fun match. I’m excited to see how it turns out.”
Stephenson took down No. 2 seed Hyun Selin of South Korea, 5-and-4 in the morning round then rallied to defeat Yuka Saso of the Philippines, 1-up in the afternoon. The Lexington, S.C., native was 2-up through eight holes before Saso won four of the five holes to flip the score before play was halted briefly due to lightning in the area. After the restart, Stephenson won three of the final five holes to clinch the match. She will meet Lauren Greenlief of Ashburn, Virginia, at 2:05 p.m. on Friday for a berth in the semifinals.
This will be Stephenson’s second consecutive appearance in the quarterfinals at the U.S. Amateur.
“I think the rain delay really gave me momentum,” Stephenson said. “I hit a good shot before we ended so I felt like I kind of had a bit of an upper hand. I think all the match play – the Curtis Cup and everything we played this year – has really helped me stay mentally focused.”
Jeon advanced with a 2-and-1 win over No. 3 seed Olivia Mehaffey of Arizona State in the morning round. The Daegu, South Korea, native posted a 2-up win over Sierra Brooks of the University of Florida in the Round of 16. Jeon was all-square with Brooks after 10 before winning the next two holes on her way to the victory. Jeon will meet Baylor University’s Gurleen Kaur in the quarterfinals at 2:15 p.m. on Friday.
“I was struggling a little bit with my tee shot at the beginning (of the round),” Jeon said. “But I wasn’t thinking about the scores at all. I just played my game throughout the match and it gave me a chance to make some birdies.”