Late birdies earn Ernst the Women’s North & South title

LSU junior Austin Ernst made her only two birdies of the day at the par-3 15th and 17th holes to defeat USC sophomore Doris Chen, 2 and 1, in the final of the 110th Women’s North & South Amateur Championship on Saturday at Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort. Ernst’s birdie at the 162-yard 17th on Pinehurst No. 2 closed out her victory.

Ernst, who won the NCAA individual title as a freshman, won the first two holes after Chen made bogeys, but Chen rebounded with birdies to win the third and seventh holes. Chen won the par-5 10th with a par, and the match stayed all square until Ernst birdied the 170-yard 15th for a 1-up lead.

In Saturday morning’s semifinals, Ernst dispatched of Notre Dame sophomore Ashley Armstrong, 3 and 2, and Chen defeated Duke junior Alejandra Cangrejo, 4 and 2.

Jaye Marie Green won the 54-hole stroke-play qualifying earlier in the week, finishing with a 4-under 212 total, two shots ahead of Armstrong and Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand. Green fell to Cangrejo, 4 and 3, in Friday’s quarterfinals. Jutanugarn also fell in the quarterfinals, losing to Ernst, 2 and 1.

Green and Jutanugarn had entered the week tied at No. 1 in the Golfweek/ Women’s Player Rankings.

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