Curtis Cuppers square off in Round of 64
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – With four Curtis Cup players in the U.S. Women’s Amateur match-play bracket, a showdown was bound to happen sooner or later. Turns out, it was sooner than most expected.
U.S. Women’s Amateur (Round of 64)
The three co-medalists have moved on to the Round of 32 at the U.S. Women's Amateur.
Curtis Cuppers bookended the bracket Wednesday at Charlotte Country Club, as Cydney Clanton and Tiffany Lua faced off in the third match of the morning, while Stephanie Kono and Jessica Korda met in the next-to-last match.
“There’s 60 other girls out there,” said Korda, in reference to the two Curtis Cup matches. “You just have to put it aside.”
Korda knocked off Kono, 3 and 2, in a packed afternoon match, as Korda never even allowed Kono a lead.
Clanton and Lua drew by far the biggest match of the morning, though many of those followers showed up because Clanton hails from nearby Concord, N.C. With her home-state advantage and length off the tee, the Auburn senior was a handful for Lua, of UCLA. Lua took a 2-up lead midway through the front nine, but began leaking oil shortly after making the turn.
Clanton got a visible boost from a birdie at the par-5 12th, and continued to knock down the flagstick throughout the back nine. She got her final birdie at the 15th to go 1 up, then held onto that lead through the final hole.
“It makes it harder in a sense because you want her to play well also, so you’re kind of also puling for her,” Clanton said of playing her former Curtis Cup teammate. “You don’t ever want to win with someone not playing well.”
Still, Clanton put the thought out of her head for Wednesday’s match and set to work chasing what would be her second major amateur title in her home state this summer. She also won the North & South Amateur July 24.
“It’s always great to win, especially to win in Pinehurst, N.C., being close to home, so there’s definitely confidence just from that, but you also have to know that it’s golf and that day to day, it can change at any time,” she said.
With Clanton and Korda on opposite sides of the bracket, the only place a third Curtis Cup match would commence is in the final.