OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. – Ariya Jutanugarn had no complaints about having to cool her heels for nearly two hours Friday morning as a thunder cell moved over Olympia Fields Country Club. Jutanugarn took the time to rest and regroup, then hit a few range balls and returned to her quarterfinal match with the kinks worked out.
Jutanugarn advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Girls’ Junior after defeating Gabriella Then by a tight 1-up margin. Neither 15-year-old managed to build more than a 1-up advantage during the 18-hole match as the lead changed eight times.
Garbage cans are corralled as a storm approaches during Quarterfinals. Play was suspended at 10 a.m.
Ariya Jutanugarn and her sister/caddie Moriya walk across a bridge at No. 6 during Quarterfinals.
Karen Chung sits down at No. 9 after the horns sounded for a weather delay waiting for a ruling before sequin shelter, play was suspended ay 10 a.m.
Gabriella Then and Ariya Jutanugarn hit their second shots within inches of each other at No. 15 during Quarterfinals. Jutanugarn birdied to get the match back to all square.
Gabriella Then reacts to a drive during Quarterfinals. She lost to Ariya Jutanugarn.
Moriya Jutanugarn, sister/caddie, for Ariya points to a spot on the green during Quarterfinals.
Summar Roachell hits out of the bunker at No. 2 during Quarterfinals.
Karen Chung looks to Debbie Mackie for a ruling after the horns were sounded for a weather delay during Quarterfinals. After the horns blew, Yu Liu gave Chung the short putt.
Dottie Ardina pounds a driver down the fairway at No. 8 during the Quarterfinals.
Yu Liu is all smiles at No. 9, she left the green 4-up, during Quarterfinals.
Ariya Jutanugarn hits a shot while her caddie/sister Moriya watches during Quarterfinals.
Amy Lee chips up at No. 9 during Quarterfinals.
Gabriella Then hits her third shot at No. 16 during Quarterfinals. After failing to advance the shot very far she conceded the hole.
Talia Campbell during Quarterfinals. Campbell lost to Amy Lee.
Amy Lee carries an umbrella to shield herself from the sun during Semifinals. She lost to Ariya Jutanugarn, 8 & 6.
Dottie Ardina fires at the pin during Semifinals. She defeated Yu Liu to advance to the Finals.
Amy Lee watches her tee shot at No. 12 during Semifinals.
Dottie Ardina high fives her caddie, Mickey Brick, after they defeated Yu Liu during Semifinals.
“I think we both played not so good today,” Jutanugarn said after the match. For her, that meant inconsistency off the tee. She conceded that for the first nine holes, she had no idea where the ball was going. That’s unusual for Jutanugarn, who, for the first time in her career, is part of the final four in a U.S. Golf Association championship.
Then had Jutanugarn down immediately on a cloudy and cool morning, making birdie to Jutanugarn’s bogey at the first hole. There were four lead changes by the time they made the turn, and the horn blew just after Then landed in her second bunker at No. 10. She would par to lose the advantage, but get it back again with a 25-foot birdie putt at No. 13.
Jutanugarn birdied No. 15, before Then missed her first tee shot of the day, at the 16th, spraying it right and nestling it 3 feet from a fence marking out of bounds.
“I never slice the ball; I just don’t hit it like that,” Then said. “I picked driver because I knew if I hit it good, I would be closer to the green.”
Then considered taking an unplayable, but in the end tried to punch out instead. She conceded the hole as Jutanugarn waited in the fairway, with a short pitch to the green.
Players names and scores lay piled at the base of the scoreboard during the U. S. Girls’ Junior Championship.
David Johnson, the South Course superintendent at Olympia Fields tries to keep the greens from drying out during the heat of the late afternoon.
The 63rd U. S. Girls’ Junior Championship is being played at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, IL., outside of Chicago.
A time and temperature gauge sitting in the direct sunlight at the first tee shows the temperature reaching 115 degrees.
The scoreboard at the 63rd U. S. Girls’ Junior Championship.
Caddie Mickey Brick, takes a break from the heat prior to his player, Dottie Ardina tees off at noon.
Spectators sit and watch the action during the Round of 64 at Olympia Fields.
Name plates for the participants are piled on a table at the driving range after Tuesday’s stroke play.
A player at the Girls’ Junior Championship hits balls at the range after Tuesday’s stroke play.
A creek at Olympia Fields CC near holes No. 18 and No. 10.
A school bus sits on course in case an evacuation is needed for inclement weather.
Mike McGraw records the score of the final match of the day during the Round of 64 at the U. S. Girls’ Junior.
A couple of spectators wait patiently for the next group.
The tees at No. 11 were moved up measuring 260-yards allowing the girls to go for the green at the par-4.
Flags fly over the scoreboard showing how many countries represented at the U. S. Girls’ Junior.
A standard bearer holds a sign indicating the score through 11 holes on Friday.
A view of No. 18 during the morning round of the final match at Olympia Fields during the 63rd U. S. Girls’ Junior.
Ariya Jutanugarn is the U. S. Girls’ Junior Champion defeating Dottie Ardina, 2 & 1.
Jutanugarn parred out to win the match, and even the score between herself and Then. The last time they had met, three weeks ago at Sunriver (Ore.) Resort for the AJGA’s Rolex Tournament of Champions, both ended regulation tied at 6-under 282. Then beat Jutanugarn with a birdie on the first hole of sudden death.
“She’s so good,” Jutanugarn acknowledged after the round, hustling to get from the quarters to the semis. “In TOC and here, she’s still good.”
Jutanugarn and Then were followed up the final hole by Talia Campbell and Amy Lee, who had an equally close quarterfinal match. All square entering the final hole, Campbell missed a 4-footer for par at No. 18. Campbell and Lee are USGA newbies.
The other side of the bracket was a different story as neither match made it past the 14th hole. Summer Roachell had been one of the hottest players entering the quarterfinals, but she fell to Dottie Ardina, 5 and 4.
In the group ahead of them, Karen Chung, looking to advance to the final match for the first time in her career since finishing runner-up to Alexis Thompson in 2008, lost to Yu Liu, 6 and 5.