Emily Mahar in action today – photo Darren Carroll USGA
Brisbane’s Emily Mahar has advanced to the quarter finals of the US Women’s Amateur Championship at the Westchester Country Club in Rye, north of New York City.
The 22 year old, rising senior at Virginia Tech, won her morning round of 32 match against Sophie Guo of China after being 2 down with just four to play before playing her last four holes in 2 under to win with one final birdie at the last.
Her afternoon encounter against Rianne Mikhaela Malixi of the Philippines was equally as tense and although never behind in her match, Mahar was required to produce dramatics at the last to win 1 up after being 3 up with three to play.
Mahar holed a lengthy chip from off the green at the 18th for birdie to hold off the fast finishing Malixi who, at the age of 14, was the second youngest player in the event.
“I had the exact same shot this morning in my first match,” said Mahar referring to her dramatic finish.
“So I mean [my caddie] walked up to me and she said, ‘At least you know how this one goes,’ even though this morning it was for eagle and this time it was to close it out. I just felt really confident in that spot on the green and knew that at worst I would get up and down; went in.”
“It’s really, really awesome,” she added referring to the position she finds herself in. “I’ve played three — two or three other Ams and this is the furthest I’ve ever made it. Each day, each round from here is another win, so, yeah.”
The recently married Mahar had her husband Jackson caddying for her as he had when she qualified and played the US Open Championship in June.
Mahar reached the round of 32 in last year’s US Women’s Amateur and is playing her third US Women’s Amateur in addition to her US Women’s Open appearance so she is developing significant experience at this level.
Tomorrow Mahar takes on Jensen Castle of South Carolina in an attempt to advance to the semi-finals. Mahar is ranked considerably higher than the 20 year old Castle in terms of world ranking.
In the morning round of 32, Sydney’s Grace Kim, the only other Australian to make it to the second round, was bundled out of the event by a surprising margin when losing 7&6 to Rachel Heck of Texas.
Grace Kim – suffered a heavy loss in her round of 32 match – photo USGA