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Piyapattra Falls to Reigning NCAA Individual Medalist, 1-Up, at U.S. Women's Amateur

Columbia's Michelle Piyapattra
Columbia's Michelle Piyapattra

Courtesy Columbia Sports Information/Media Relations

BARRINGTON, R.I. -- Columbia sophomore Michelle Piyapattra saw her run at the 111th U.S. Women's Amateur come to a close on Thursday afternoon, but not before giving the reigning NCAA individual medalist a run for her money.

Piyapattra fell to LSU rising sophomore Austin Ernst, 1-up, at the Rhode Island Country Club, going shot-for-shot with the first team All-American before ultimately coming up just a tad short.

"It was an incredible week at a great venue," head women's golf coach Kari Williams said. "She played well and competed hard, and was basically one putt away from going extra holes."

The day started out on a positive note for the 2011 Ivy League individual medalist, as she took a quick 1-up lead on the first hole as Ernst bogeyed and she parred. Ernst came right back on the second hole with a birdie to put the match back at all square.

It would remain that way until the fifth hole, when Piyapattra once again gained a one-hole cushion as she made par and her opponent made bogey. The lead, however, would be shortlived, as Ernst won three consecutive holes (6-8) to take a 2-up advantage.

Piyapattra would not go down without a fight, as she came right back with a birdie on the par-4 ninth to get within one. The margin would stay at one until the 12th, when Piyapattra hit her approach shot into the front bunker and settled for bogey as her opponent parred to win the hole.

With Ernst ahead by two with six holes to play, Piyapattra came back with a birdie on the short par-4 14th to again pull within one. The duo would battle to a draw in each of the next two holes before Piyapattra had a shot to draw even with a putt on the par-3 17th.

But it was not to be, as the Columbia Lion just missed on her birdie try on the 17th green, and halved the final hole for the final margin.

Piyapattra will rejoin the rest of her Lions' teammates for Columbia's fall season, which will be begin in September.