Mika Liu of Beverly Hills, Calif. stayed focused on the task at hand, overcoming a back-nine rally by Sirene Blair Friday morning for a 3 & 2 quarterfinals win and then dispatched Josee Doyon, 3 & 2, in the afternoon semifinals match to move into the finals of the Women’s Western Golf Association’s 114th National Amateur Championship at Lancaster Country Club.
Liu, who earned the top seed in the Championship flight following qualifying rounds of 73-71 on the 6,201-yard, par 72 William Flynn design, will meet Cammie Gray of Northport, Ala. in Saturday’s 36-hole final.
Liu took a 2 up advantage to the back nine Friday morning and then used a terrific second shot at No. 10 to set up a two-putt par to win the hole. Blair, of South Jordan, Utah, had a chance at a halve at No. 11 following a beautiful chip from right of the green, but missed a par save to fall 4 down with seven holes to play.
“It was great that I could go 4 up, but I was still cautious because the round hadn’t ended yet,” said Liu. “I wasn’t going to assume anything.”
Blair made a solid two-putt par at the downhill par-3 12th to trim the margin back to three after Liu’s tee ball found the water and then rolled in a 12-footer for birdie at the par-5 13th to battle back to 2 down.
“No. 12 has really been a decision-making hole for me,” said Liu. “It was like that yesterday and today. The wind picked up a lot more today than yesterday. I did hit the same club today as yesterday and hit a solid shot, but it just didn’t go.”
Blair was in beautiful position to win a third consecutive hole after hitting her approach at the par-4 14th to 5 feet, but her birdie try missed high.
“I knew that it was from my own short putt mistakes,” said Liu. “I tried to learn from those and be more confident with my putts because I was doubting myself with my lines. And then when she missed her putt, it gave me a bit more of a relief. I wasn’t as tight because if she had her momentum, she maybe could have it going. Try ipad casino and win jackpot! So I knew I just had to stay in there.”
After Blair’s second from the right rough found the rough left of the green, leaving a difficult up and down, Liu regained firm control of the match following a phenomenal 5-iron from 150 yards at the uphill par 4. Blair then hit a poor chip that fell short of the green and into a greenside bunker and Liu two-putted for par to push the margin back to three up with three to play.
“I knew I didn’t really have to try to hit it in the hole,” said Liu. “I could just let it be a par.”
A halve at the 16th sent Liu, just 15 years old, into the semis. Saturday’s 36-hole Championship flight final is free and open to the public. For complete results as well as more information, visit www.wwga.org.