Josephine Chang and Sarah Shipley are moving on to the round of 16 at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship.
Playing against some of the best amateurs in the nation, the Kentucky women’s golfers defeated the ninth-seeded duo of Whitney Britton and Avery French in the round of 32, the first round of match play at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship. In a back-and-forth match that saw no team lead by more than two holes, Chang and Shipley won 1 up.
Chang and Shipley, seeded 24th after advancing past the stroke-play portion of the event, advanced to Tuesday’s round of 16 and will and face the eighth-seeded tandem of Maria Torres and Samantha Wagner at the Dunes Golf & Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Torres and Wagner were key members of Florida’s 2017 Southeastern Conference championship team that reached the quarterfinals of the 2017 NCAA Championships.
Tuesday’s match between Chang-Shipley and Torres-Wagner will tee off at 7:12 a.m. Should Chang and Shipley win, they would play again Tuesday at 1 p.m. in the quarterfinals.
The U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship, hosted by the United States Golf Association, is in its third season. The four-ball format consists of teams of two players with each golfer playing their own ball throughout the round. A team’s number of strokes for a given hole is that of the lower scoring team member. The format is typically used in match-play competitions between two teams of two players so that four balls are in play.
Chang and Shipley, who just completed their freshman seasons at Kentucky, qualified for the national tournament after winning a local qualifier at Keene Trace Golf in Nicholasville, Kentucky, in April. There were 26 sites nationally that funneled into the national tournament taking place this week in Myrtle Beach.
To even qualify for the tournament was an accomplishment in itself, but Chang and Shipley have not rested on their success. To make the match-play portion of the event, the Wildcat duo had to place in the top half (32 of the 64 teams) of the field in the two-round stroke-play portion.
Chang and Shipley did exactly that with a total score of 4-under par over the 36 holes this weekend. They shot a 71 in the opening round Saturday and followed with a 3-under 69 on Sunday.
In Monday’s match vs. Britton and French, the duo got off to a great start by winning the first hole with a birdie but fell behind by a hole after eight. Chang and Shipley then took three of the next six holes to go up two with four to play. Britton and French got one back on the 15th hole but Chang and Shipley closed out the match with a birdie on No. 16 and pars on 17 and 18 to win 1 up.
Chang and Shipley have a veteran to help them around the course this week with UK teammate Ale Walker caddying for Shipley.
Both Chang and Shipley enjoyed tremendous freshman seasons.
Chang competed in all but one of UK’s 11 events this season, including the NCAA Columbus Regional. She finished second on the team with eight rounds of par or better, tied for the third most in UK single-season history. Chang posted four top-30 finishes in stroke-play tournaments, including tying for 16th place at the Clover Cup in Mesa, Arizona.
Shipley was one of only two Wildcats to play in every in every event this season. The Hastings, Michigan, native recorded four top-50 finishes in stroke-play tournaments in addition to winning the individual bracket championship at the East & West Match Play Challenge in the fall.
For the latest on the Kentucky women’s golf team, follow the team on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com.
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Associate Director of Media Relations