UK women’s golfers fell Tuesday in 19 holes to duo from Florida
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. –Sarah Shipley and Josephine Chang went on a tremendous run in U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship this week – one they can build on as they enter their first offseason as Kentucky women’s golfers – but the soon-to-be sophomores dropped their match Tuesday vs. the eighth-seeded tandem of Maria Torres and Samantha Wagner.
Shipley and Chang applied pressure to the duo from Florida all morning long. Playing against two key members of the Gators’ 2017 Southeastern Conference championship team that reached the quarterfinals of the 2017 NCAA Championships, Shipley and Chang forced an extra hole in match play before falling on the 19th hole of the day when Torres and Wagner birdied a par 4.
The loss ended a solid run for Shipley and Chang at the Dunes Golf & Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Chang and Shipley, who just completed their freshman seasons at UK, 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 tournament.
To make the match-play portion of the event in Myrtle Beach, 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 over the weekend. They shot a 71 in the opening round Saturday and followed with a 3-under 69 on Sunday.
On Monday, Chang and Shipley defeated the ninth-seeded duo of Whitney Britton and Avery French 1 up in the round of 32.
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.
Shipley and Chang held their ground all day long with Torres and Wagner and were all square through 10 holes. Kentucky’s duo dropped back-to-back holes when they bogeyed 11 and 12, but they rebounded with back-to-back points on 13 and 14.
The UK tandem was once again down by one headed into the last hole but made a clutch par on the 18th while Torres and Wagner bogeyed to force an extra hole. Torres and Wagner ended the match on the extra hole with a birdie on a 380-yard par 4.
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 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.