Jutanugarn, Ko appear to be on collision course 

  • Godofredo Vasquez/special to the s.f. examiner
  • Ariya Jutanugarn

DALY CITY — So far, the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship has gone about as expected.

Last year’s winner, 16-year-old Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand, cruised through her two matches Thursday, beating Katelyn Dambaugh 5 and 4 before running through Ashlan Ramsey 8 and 6 at Lake Merced Golf Club to advance to today’s quarterfinals.

Jutanugarn recorded six birdies and an eagle to beat Ramsey, who had to go 20 holes in her morning round to win. Ramsey didn’t blame her loss on fatigue, however.

“It’s pretty difficult to beat someone who is playing that well,” she said. “But I don’t think anyone could have beaten her today.”

Despite finishing at the top of the heap during two days of match play and cruising through the first three rounds of match play, Jutanugarn said she was still focused on maintaining her game for the final two days of competition.
“The tournament is not done,” she said. “So everybody has a chance to win. So I have to keep it up.”

She will face Casie Cathrea of Livermore, who shot a 10-over 82 in the first round of stroke play Monday, but bounced back with a 6-under 66 Tuesday and has been rolling ever since. She beat Karen Chung 2 and 1 in the second round and Anne Freman 6 and 4 in the round of 16.

World No. 1 Lydia Ko has also lived up to expectations, and seems to be on a collision course with Jutanugarn in Saturday’s final.

Ko bested Hee Wook Choi 7 and 6 Thursday morning and edged out Nicole Morales 2 and 1 in the third round.

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