Fil-American Brianna Navarrosa bowed out of the quarterfinals following a playoff defeat at the hands of Canadian Monet Chun in the 122nd US Women’s Open Championship at Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington Friday.
Navarrosa, the 21-year-old daughter of Filipino tennis champion Ringo, battled Chun in a tight match that included some memorable late fireworks.
The players were tied when they reached the par-3 17th hole, where Chun struck the shot of the championship by holing a delicate bunker shot for birdie to take a 1-up lead heading to 18.
Navarrosa poured in a gutsy birdie putt to win that hole and extend the match.
The players moved on to play the par-4 10th (19th hole of the match), and Navarrosa found trouble off the tee while Chun striped a drive and hit an approach to the middle of the green to seal the victory.
“That was a pretty exciting last couple of holes there, and it was definitely intense,” said Chun, who won the Canadian Women’s Amateur earlier this summer.
Chun will play Annabel Wilson of Ireland in the first semifinal match on Saturday.
Wilson was seeking to continue her winning formula: Birdie the par-5 first hole and build an insurmountable lead, this time against Catherine Rao of Camarillo, Calif. Wilson did win the first hole, with a par, but Rao got it back at the third hole and the two were tied for most of the match until Wilson was able to win Nos. 15-17 to clinch the 3-and-1 victory.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever played this course in the wind, and it really picked up on the back nine,” said Wilson, a 21-year-old University of California Los Angeles senior. “It becomes a completely different strategy. I had to adapt, and I did that well out there.”
The other semifinals pit Japanese Saki Baba against Bailey Shoemaker.
Baba made the cut in the US Women’s Open (T-49), was the stroke-play medalist, reached the Round of 32 at the US Girls’ Junior, and now is into the final four of the US Women’s Amateur at Chambers Bay.
During Friday’s quarterfinal, Baba shone brighter than the August sunshine by defeating 21-year-old Lauren Lehigh of Loveland, Colo., 4 and 3.
After the players tied the first five holes, Baba made four straight birdies — including a chip-in on No. 7 — to pull away from Lehigh.
Her lead reached 5 up after a highlight-reel approach on the 281-yard par-4 12th, where she spun a wedge from 118 yards into the hole for an eagle.
“Lauren’s drive went to a really good position,” said Baba through a translator. “I just had to make that birdie. That’s where I aimed it, and I didn’t expect it to go in. I’m really happy about it.”