Jutanugarn, Ardina advance to finals

Jutanugarn, Ardina advance to finals

OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. (AP) — Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn advanced to the finals of the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship with an 8 and 6 victory over 20th-seeded Amy Lee of Brea, Calif., on Friday.

Jutanugarn, the top-ranked player in the field, won five holes on the front nine, then closed Lee out by taking the 10th, 11th and 12th holes. She was 5-under-par for her abbreviated round.

The Bangkok native will face Dottie Ardina of the Philippines, who beat seventh-seeded Yu Liu of China 2 and 1.

Ardina, from Santa Rosa in the Philippine province of Laguna, honed her game at the IMG David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Bradenton, Fla. She was 1 down to Liu after a bogey on the par-4 13th hole, but won the par-3 14th with a par, and then won the 16th and 17th with par 4s to win a spot in the final.

“If I win, it’s a big win for me, for my lifetime,” Ardina said. “I have to make my birdie putts. I missed a lot of them today.”

Earlier in the day, Jutanugarn scored a 1 up victory over Gabriella Then of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., in the quarterfinals, and Lee beat Talia Campbell of Dallas 1 up. Ardina beat Summar Roachell of Conway, Ark., 5 and 4 in the thunderstorm-interrupted match, and Liu beat Karen Chung of Livingston, N.J., 6 and 5 in her morning match.

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