ST. LOUIS (AP) — Florida teen stars Alexis Thompson and Jessica Korda advanced to the U.S. Women’s Amateur quarterfinals Thursday, winning second- and third-round matches at Old Warson Country Club.
The 14-year-old Thompson, the 2008 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion from Coral Springs, overcame putting problems for a pair of 2-and-1 victories, beating England’s Jodi Ewart in the morning and returning to top the Philippines’ Cyna Marie Rodriguez.
“My putting was bad,” said Thompson, trying to become the seventh player to win both the Girls’ Junior and Women’s Amateur. “I just tried to be more confident over my putts in the second round. It just didn’t seem to work. I don’t know what I’m doing.”
Korda – with her father, former tennis star Petr Korda, working as her caddie – beat Aimee Neff of Carmel, Ind., 6 and 5, and Erynne Lee of Silverdale, Wash., 2 and 1.
The 16-year-old Korda, from Bradenton, will face Tiffany Lua of Rowland Heights, Calif., in the quarterfinals, while Thompson will play South Korea’s Han Jungeun.
“Every match is hard,” said Thompson, the sister of PGA Tour player Nicholas Thompson. “You can’t take it easy on anybody. You’ve got to make some birdies and you’ve got to go for it.”
In the other quarterfinals, Jennifer Johnson of La Quinta, Calif., will face Candace Schepperle of Birmingham, Ala., and Stephanie Kono of Honolulu, Hawaii, will play Jennifer Song, the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links winner from Ann Arbor, Mich.
In the third round, Johnson beat Sydnee Michaels of Temecula, Calif., 3 and 2; Schepperle defeated Canada’s Maude-Aimee Leblanc 3 and 2; Kono edged Allie White of Lancaster, Ohio, 2-up; and Song beat Cydney Clanton of Concord, N.C., 2 and 1.
The 19-year-old Song is trying to join Pearl Sinn as the only players to win the Public Links and Amateur in the same year.
“I’m feeling really good,” said Song, the University of Southern California player who was the low amateur in the U.S. Women’s Open. “Obviously, I am very confident going into tomorrow. My short game is coming back.”