Playing solid golf from start to finish, Stanford sophomore Albane Valenzuela defeated Robynn Ree 4 and 3 on Friday to advance to the semifinals of the 117th U.S. Women's Amateur Championship at San Diego Country Club.
Valenzuela will play Lilia Khata-Tu Vu of Fountain Grove on Saturday. The winner moves to the 36-hole final on Sunday.
Valenzuela, No. 3 in the World Amateur Ranking, lost the first hole to a birdie against Ree, a junior at USC. But she equalized with a par at the second hole, won the third with a birdie, and didn't trail again.
Valenzuela took control of the match by winning the ninth, 10th and 11th holes with pars. She finished 1-under for 15 holes.
Vu, a junior at UCLA, defeated Lucy Li of Redwood Shores, 4 and 3.
In the other semifinal match, Chia Ten Wu of Chinese Tapei will face Sophia Schubert of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Wu, the No. 63 seed, defeated 10th-seeded Lauren Stephenson on the 30th hole.
All four semifinalists are exempt into the 2018 and 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateurs, which will be conducted at The Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs and Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Miss.
The U.S. Women’s Amateur finalists receive an exemption into the U.S. Women’s Open, and the champion traditionally receives an exemption into three additional major professional championships – the Women’s British Open, the ANA Inspiration and the Evian Championship.