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HomeFEATURED WEBSITEBriana Chacon claims medalist honors at U.S. Women's Amateur in record fashion

Briana Chacon claims medalist honors at U.S. Women’s Amateur in record fashion

LOS ANGELES — Briana Chacon did something Tuesday morning that no golfer in the history of the U.S. Women’s Amateur has ever accomplished.

She finished stroke play at 9-under 131, a gross scoring record in the championship. In the 122 editions of the event before this year, no golfer has ever shot better than 133 in the 36-hole stroke-play format. During the 2023 U.S. Women’s Amateur at Bel-Air Country Club, Chacon rewrote the record books.

Chacon, a fifth-year player at Oregon, will be the top seed in match play, which begins Wednesday morning. Ole Miss fifth-year Andrea Lignell had a chance to tie Chacon with a par on the 18th hole, but she made double bogey after hitting her tee shot in a fairway bunker. Lignell was 7 under before the blunder, but she carded a 5-under 65 on Tuesday.

“I didn’t really play in too many events this summer,” Chacon said of her prep for the U.S. Women’s Am. “But I worked really hard on my putting the past few months. That’s always been my missing piece. I got a coach, worked really hard and it paid off.”

U.S. Women’s Amateur: Photos

Chacon shot 5-under 65 on Tuesday morning to follow up with her opening 4-under 66 Monday, when she shared the lead with fellow Californian Caroline Canales, who is playing a true home game this week. Canales, who tied for fifth in stroke play at 4-under 136, plays collegiately at UCLA.

“I think the greens are faster than normal,” said Canales, who mentioned she plays the course about twice a week during the season. “I didn’t expect them to be this fast. On the flip side, I do think they’ve cut the rough a bit, which evens it out.”

Lignell will be No. 2 seed come match play, but her and Chacon will have to wait to see their opponents.

Briana Chacon shares a laugh with her caddie Greg Puga after hitting her tee shot on hole 18 during the second round of the 2023 U.S. Women’s Amateur at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif. on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023. (James Gilbert/USGA)

Come Wednesday morning, there will be a 10-for-9 playoff for the final match play spots. Charlotte Cantonis birdied her final hole, meaning 65 players were inside the cut line and forcing a playoff.

The playoff will begin at 7 a.m. Wednesday on No. 10, the 205-yard par-3 over a canyon. The scoring average on the hole this week is 3.35.

Gianna Clemente, who won the Junior PGA Championship last week in Arkansas, continued her strong play with a 5-under 65 performance Tuesday afternoon, giving her the third seed for match play. At last month’s U.S. Girls’ Junior, Clemente was the 18th seed and made the semifinals, losing to eventual champion Kiara Romero, an incoming freshman at Oregon.

Clemente said she’s not worried about burning out with her recent busy stretch and is looking forward to match play.

“I love playing competitive golf and never get sick of it,” Clemente said. “I knew I had a busy schedule coming into the summer, but it has been really fun to travel to a lot of new places, and I’ve got a lot of golf left in me.”

Romero and Clemente were paired together the first two rounds, with Romero also making match play after shooting 2-under 138. 2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Jensen Castle, a fifth-year at Kentucky, will be a part of the playoff.



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