CHARLESTON, S.C. – Emma Talley, of Princeton, Ky., has a 1-up lead over Yueer Cindy Feng, of Orlando, Fla., after the first 18 holes of the 36-hole final of the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at the Country Club of Charleston.
Talley, 19, won the opening hole with a 2-foot par putt after Feng, 17, two-putted for bogey from 4 feet. Talley had multiple opportunities to extend her lead over the next stretch of holes, with lip-out putts at the third and sixth holes that kept Feng close.
Talley, a sophomore at the University of Alabama, carried the 1-up advantage until the par-4 seventh, where she was unable to convert her up-and-down for par. Feng escaped the trees along the right of the fairway and converted a 6-foot par putt to square the match.
Feng took her first lead at the par-4 eighth after Talley made her third three-putt bogey in a four-hole stretch. It was a seesaw battle for the next eight holes, with Talley bringing the match to all square at 11 and 14 and Feng winning the ensuing hole on both occasions.
With the clubhouse in sight, Talley’s putter picked up steam. She dropped a 6-footer for birdie at the par-3 17th to square the match. And after Feng’s approach to the par-5 18th rolled long off the back of the green, Talley placed hers within 6 feet and reclaimed a 1-up lead with a birdie.
Both players struggled with scoring in Charleson’s oppressive heat and humidity. Talley carded a score of three-over par, including five bogeys (four consecutive at holes 5-8) and two birdies. Feng returned the equivalent of five-over par (with the usual match-play concession), including two birdies, five bogeys and one double bogey.
The gallery that braved the morning’s steamy temperatures included Alabama women's golf coach Mick Potter, who came from Tuscaloosa to support Talley, as well as her teammate Stephanie Meadow, who lost in the first round of match play. Meadow, carrying a Roll Tide banner, was joined by her fellow Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup competitors Leona and Lisa Maguire.
The afternoon round will begin at 1 p.m. Visit www.twitter.com/USGA for live hole-by-hole updates.
Christina Lance is the assistant manager of championship communications for the USGA. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.