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August 10, 2011

Ivy Duo Competes at 111th U.S. Women's Amateur Championship

Portions courtesy Columbia Sports Information/Media Relations and Princeton Athletic Communications

BARRINGTON, R.I. -- Competing in the 111th U.S. Women's Amateur Championship, Columbia's Michelle Piyapattra and Princeton's Kelly Shon both advanced to 64-player match play with Piyapattra moving on to the Round of 32 after a victory Wednesday.

In a USGA amateur championship, there are two days of stroke play qualifying to determine the 64 players who will make it to match play. The "Match Play Tree" is then established and players are seeded according to how they played during stroke play.

Piyapattra, the 2011 Ivy League Championship individual medalist, shot a one-under par 70 at the Rhode Island Country Club on Tuesday, and totalled 143 over two days to tie for 18th in the stroke play competition.

In her first round of match play, Piyapattra defeated Kristen Park of Buena Vista, Calif., 3 & 2, advancing to face LSU sophomore and reigning NCAA invididual medalist Austin Ernst. That second-round match-up begins at 9:20 a.m. ET Thursday and will be broadcast worldwide on the Golf Channel.

After halving the first two holes in the match against Park, Piyapattra took an early 1-up lead as she parred the third hole while her opponent bogeyed. The lead would remain at one until the par-4 seventh hole, where Piyapattra again made par while Park bogeyed to give the Corona, Calif., native a 2-up lead.

Park, who will be an incoming freshman at USC this fall and won the Rolex Junior Player of the Year award in 2010, came back with a birdie on the par-5 eighth to get within one. But Piyapattra came right back with a par on the difficult par-4 ninth to bump her cushion back to two.

Not to be outdone, Park once again halved her deficit with a birdie on the par-3 10th. The margin would remain one until the 12th, as Piyapattra took the hole via another par and extended her lead to two with six holes to play.

Both players bogeyed the 13th hole, leading them to the 364-yard, par-4 14th. While Park made a solid par, Piyapattra birdied to take command of the match and went up three with four holes to play.

Piyapattra had a chance to put the match away on the 15th hole, but narrowly missed a 15-foot putt. The suspense would be shortlived, however, as the Columbia sophomore halved the 16th hole with a par and clinched the win.

Shon fired a 72 and 74 through the two stroke-play rounds tying for 45th place at +4 in the 156-player field to earn a spot in the 64-player match play tournament.

In the first round of match play, Shon extended the No. 15 seed, UCLA junior Tiffany Lua, to 20 holes before Lua won 1-up. The pair parred each of the first five holes before Shon bogeyed the sixth to fall behind by one hole. Shon then won each of the next three holes, taking a 2-up lead at the turn. Lua, however, won holes 11, 14 and 15 to take a 1-up lead only to see Shon win at 18 to send the match into extra holes. After each player birdied 19, Lua birdied 20 while Shon turned in a par.