Four can’t-miss Round of 32 matchups

Cydney Clanton, right, defeated Tiffany Lua in the Round of 64 at the U.S. Women's Amateur.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – In Round 1 of match play at the U.S. Women’s Amateur, it seemed like so many of the matches were ones we would expect to see in the quarterfinals: Jessica Korda vs. Stephanie Kono; Alex Marina vs. Victoria Tanco; and Cydney Clanton vs. Tiffany Lua.

Not to worry, though, because there are still plenty of premier matchups in the Round of 32. Here are a few that will be must-see action:

  1. Rachel Rohanna vs. Marina Alex: The medalist was sweating out her Round 1 match against the 64-seed Isabel Han. Through 15 the two were all square, until Rohanna won the par-4 16th with a par. Rohanna shot 2 over on the day, and will face Marina Alex, who defeated one of the top juniors in the country, Victoria Tanco, 2 and 1. The best part of match play is that it doesn’t matter what you did in stroke play. Rohanna will have her hands full with Alex, who made five birdies in her opening-round match. People will flock to see the medalist, but really they should flock to see Alex, who should not be the underdog in this one.
  2. Cydney Clanton vs. Kristen Park: Clanton survived her opening-round match against Curtis Cup teammate Tiffany Lua and has another tough match in Round 1. Kristen Park won the 2007 U.S. Girls’ Junior and in early July captured the AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions. Clanton was a quarterfinalist last year, but is facing a junior with plenty of match-play experience and success. From Rockwell, N.C., Clanton is the local favorite, and tomorrow the locals should come out to cheer her on.
  3. Caroline Hedwall vs. Stephanie Sherlock: The 2010 NCAA champion Hedwall will have a tough task facing recent University of Denver graduate Sherlock. Hedwall ended the college season on top, and Sherlock never had the opportunity to compete for the championship because Denver failed to qualify for the NCAA Championship. For Sherlock, this is her last chance to make a statement as an amateur. On the other side, Hedwall would love to win two of the most prestigious amateur championships in the same year before she turns pro at the end of the year.
  4. Candace Schepperle vs. Jessica Korda: This match will be serious from the practice range to whenever the caps come off to shake hands. Schepperle has had a chip on her shoulder since she wasn’t selected for the Curtis Cup team, and will have a chance to take down one of the team’s key contributors. Korda takes it one match at a time, but Thursday will have to be absolutely focused on the task at hand. Schepperle may be the one person who wants to win this championship more than anyone else. The Auburn graduate had the chance to turn pro after the NCAA Championship, but decided to stick around this summer for a chance to win the Women’s Amateur.
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