Women’s Golf: Rinko Mitsunaga Advances at U.S. Women’s Amateur


Georgia's Rinko Mitsunaga during the NCAA Athens Regional at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Photo by Steven Colquitt)
Georgia’s Rinko Mitsunaga during the NCAA Athens Regional at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Photo by Steven Colquitt)

 
 
Georgia’s Rinko Mitsunaga won her opening round match in the 117th U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship in dramatic fashion on Wednesday.
 
 
Mitsunaga survived after Alice Hewson missed a manageable putt to win the match at No. 17. Hewson then lipped out her next putt to give Mitsunaga a win at No. 17 and put the match all all-square.
 
 
After both golfers parred No. 18 and their first playoff hole, Mitsunaga’s par on the 20th hole clinched the match.
 
 
Mitsunaga was the No. 59 seed in the match play draw, securing her spot in the 64-player field in an 11-for-8 playoff on Tuesday. Hewson, a rising junior from Clemson ranked No. 38 in the world, was the No. 6 seed.
 
 
Mitsunaga, a rising junior from Roswell, Ga., will now face Zoe Campos in Thursday’s round of 32, teeing off at 12:50 p.m. ET.
 
 
Georgia classmate Bailey Tardy was on the other side of an upset on Wednesday. The rising junior and No. 5 seed dropped a 3-and-2 decision to Tze Han Lin. Han Lin won the first three holes of the day and Tardy was unable to square the match. She pulled within 1-down with birdies at No. 6 and No. 8, but Han Lin secured No. 12 and No. 13 to rebuild a larger advantage.