Date: January 18, 2019
Author: Kirsty Wrice

#AusAm: Maroons make moves



If the women's round of 16 was State of Origin the series would be over.

Cassie Porter and Isabelle Taylor booked their spots in the 2019 Australian Amateur Championships quarter-finals on Friday after defeating New South Wales's Hannah Park and Kelsey Bennett respectively.

Porter, from Peregian Springs on the Sunshine Coast, began the day with a string of birdies on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th to take the early lead.

Holding a 3-up advantage at the turn, Porter sunk a clutch 15-metre putt on the 16th to secure a 4&2 win.

“I played really well today and got the job done,” the Sunshine Coaster said.

“I started off by hitting it left into the trees, and I was like calm down Cassie – we can do this.”

After missing the cut in her first #AusAm attempt in Perth last year, the 16-year-old was "stoked" to advance to the weekend.

“I was pretty nervous starting off without a caddie, and without anyone to give me the pin numbers quickly," said Porter.

“It was all good, I had a bit of a sing to myself, got over the nerves and managed okay. But I’m looking forward to having Piper Stubbs back on the bag tomorrow.”

No.8 seed Porter will be joined by Taylor, who is set to attend Oregon State mid-August, after she toppled Mollymook’s Kelsey Bennett 4&3.

The other all-Australian affair needed two extra holes, Steph Bunque hitting a sensational 6-iron to one metre that set up an eagle on the 20th hole and sealed the victory over New South Wales' Doey Choi.

In more bad news for the Blues, Grace Kim went down to Korean sensation Min A Yoon 2&1 after leading for much of the day.

The first match away went down to the wire, with Japan's Yuri Yoshida and Tsubasa Kajitani needing 20 holes to find a winner.

Yoshida's second shot into the 9th green came up short, Kajitani calmly two-putting her way to the next round.

Joining Kajitani in the final eight is countrywoman Riri Sadoyama, following her impressive 5&4 triumph over Queensland’s Hye Park.

Carmen Lim faced a familiar foe in the round of 16, eventually getting the better of fellow Kiwi Darae Chung 4&3.

Lim, one of three current Lydia Ko Scholarship winners, proved too strong for the 26th seed and will face-off against Australia’s Bunque tomorrow.

At the tail of the field, Korean 11th seed Yaeeun Hong toppled Japan’s Miyu Goto, the No.6 seed losing 3&2.

Matches commence at 8:10am tomorrow morning.