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Local golfers finding the greens enjoyable in San Diego

 
Top-seeded Shannon Aubert won her first-round match at the U.S. Women's Amateur in San Diego on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Stanford Athletics.

Three current Stanford women's golfers broke par, but only two advanced Wednesday during the first round of match play in the 117th U.S. Women's Amateur Championship at San Diego Country Club.

Medalist Shannon Aubert (-2) and rising sophomore Albane Valenzuela (-1) moved on to the Round of 32 on Thursday.


However, rising sophomore Andrea Lee (-2) dropped a difficult 1-down decision to Sarah Rhee (-3) of the University of Washington. Neither player made a bogey in 18 holes.

Aubert, a rising senior from France, pulled away for a 6 and 4 win against Samantha Hutchison.

Seeded No. 1, Aubert fell behind 1-down after hour holes, but claimed the next four, three with birdies. She was in command the rest of the way, sealing the triumph by winning 12,13 and 14.

Lee, seeded No. 9 and the PING/WGCA Freshman of the Year, never led against No. 56 Rhee, who provided few openings.

Lee was one of four of the top nine players who were eliminated. Seeds No. 2, 5, and 7 were also knocked off. Virtually half of the lower seeds won.

They halved the first seven holes before Rhee assumed a 1-up cushion with a birdie at No. 8. Lee squared the match with a birdie at No. 12 and that's how it stood until Rhee birdied the par-5 16th. The last two holes were halved with pars.

Valenzuela, the No. 13 seed, fell 2-down after four holes, then won the fifth, seventh and ninth holes to make the turn 1-up. She increased the lead to 2-up with a birdie at the par-4 14th, but lost 16. The final two holes were halved.

Both Lee (first team) and Valenzuela (second team) are PING/WGCA All-Americans.

High school junior Rachel Heck, a resident of Memphis who has given Stanford a verbal commitment, was also knocked out.

She won the 18th hole to go all square and then bogeyed the 20th hole, allowing Brooke Seay an opening.

Heck won the first two holes, each with a birdie before Seay won three of the next four holes and the battle of the 15-year-olds was on.

Redwood Shores Lucy Li, 14, a Stanford native, also advanced with a 4 and 3 victory over UCLA sophomore Mariel Galdiano.

It was a great match as Galdiano and Li each suffered just one bogey. Li won the last three holes, two on birdies.

— Mark Soltau/Stanford Athletics

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