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McDonald Advances To Match Play; Baik’s Run Ends In Round of 16

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Ally McDonald's defense of her North & South Amateur title continues with Round of 16 match play Friday.
Photo Courtesy of hailstate.com

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State’s Ally McDonald advanced to the Round of 16 at the North & South Women’s Amateur Thursday while teammate Ji Eun Baik split a pair of 2 &1 decisions to have her U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship run halted in the final 16.

McDonald fired an even-par 71, her best round of the event at Pinehurst No. 8, to earn the No. 6 seed heading into Friday’s match play.

The Fulton, Miss., native, who won last year’s event as the fifth seed, will face Regina Plasencia of Guadalajara, Mexico, at 7:26 a.m. CST for the opportunity to advance to the afternoon’s quarterfinal matches.

McDonald opened her third round with seven-straight pars before dropping a shot on the eighth. State’s two-time all-American rebounded with a birdie at No. 10 and played even-par golf the rest of the way to clinch sixth place.

After claiming a 3 & 2 win to open match play on Wednesday, Baik defeated Katharine Patrick 2 & 1 Thursday morning before falling in a hard-fought 2 & 1 match against Dominique Galloway during the afternoon session on The Home Course in DuPont, Wash.

Against Patrick, Baik fell behind after the opening hole before answering with wins on Nos. 3 and 5 to take a 1-up lead. She went down a hole on the eighth before a birdie sent the match to the back nine all-square.

Patrick went back in front with a win on the 10th, but Baik took advantage of a bogey on No. 12 to square the match. The Bulldog rookie took the lead for good at No. 15 and clinched a spot in the Round of 16 with a triumph on the 17th.

After falling behind on the opening hole of her first two matches, Baik took a 1-up lead following the first hole of the afternoon session. She extended the lead to 2-up with a win at the fourth and held that advantage through 11 when Galloway caught fire and birdied four of the final six holes.

Galloway cut the lead to 1-up with a birdie at No. 12 and squared the match on the 15th before claiming the win with consecutive birdies on Nos. 16 and 17.

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