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SCITUATE, Massachusetts – Throughout the fall, Columbia University first-year Anne Walsh (The Country Club) and Brown University first-year student Gabrielle Shieh (Nashawtuc CC) have spent time with friends and fellow competitors, Catie Schernecker and Allison Paik, playing golf together at all of their home courses. “It feels like we’re on a mini team together,” Walsh said.
Half of that team, Shieh and Walsh, added to their fall fun as they shot 5-under 67 on Tuesday at Scituate Country Club to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball for the second time in three years. Boston College teammates Angel Lin (Canada) & Bibilani Liu (Cupertino, California) also shot a 67 to round out the qualifiers and best the rest of the field by two strokes.
The U.S. Women’s Four-Ball, which was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, is scheduled to take place April 24-28, at Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollton, Texas.
QUALIFIERS (Names; Cities)
Gabrielle Shieh (Carlise) & Anne Walsh (Jamaica Plain) (-5, 67)
Angel Lin (Canada) & Bibilani Liu (Cupertino, California) (-5, 67)
ALTERNATES (In Order)
Carys Fennessy (Dover, New Hampshire) & Shivani Vora (Dover, New Hampshire) (-3, 69)
Megan Buck (North Easton) & Shannon Johnson (North Easton) (-2, 70)
Walsh and Shieh played in the 2019 U.S. Women’s Four-Ball in Florida but missed the cut by four strokes. This time around they’re looking for better results.
“For us it’s exciting to go back to a great tournament and try to make it further than last time,” Walsh said. “Gabby and I work together well. I’m strong off the tee, and she’s strong around the greens so we matched well in that regard.”
That dynamic seemed to work early on as Walsh opened with a birdie on the 420-yard par-5 and added another on the 310-yard fifth hole. “That was a good momentum shift,” Shieh said.
Walsh and Shieh combined for five birdies through the first 10 holes, and despite heavier winds on the back nine, Shieh brought it home by making par the rest of the way.
“Her play down the stretch was strong,” Walsh said of Shieh. “We had some birdie opportunities that didn’t pan out, but a bogey-free round was nice.”
After missing the cut by a stroke last year, Walsh said making key par saves was crucial to qualifying this time around. On the par-4 15th, both players missed the fairway and then green on their approach shots and left their chips outside of 10 feet. Still, Walsh knocked down her 12-foot par putt, taking the pressure off Shieh. “It was nice to see her putt drop,” Shieh said.
Unlike Shieh and Walsh, Lin and Liu surged on the back nine. Wearing matching maroon BC uniforms, the pair made four birdies down the stretch to snag the other qualifying spot.
Liu, who led Boston College in scoring average the past to seasons, is now a senior with the Eagles. She made birdie on holes 10-12 to move the pair up the leaderboard. Lin, a first-year student at BC, started her round with a birdie and made another on the 14th to move the pair to 5-under. Before college, Lin was a member of the Canadian National Development team and represented Team British Columbia at the National Women’s Amateur Championship in 2019.
Top Mid-Am Finishers Compete: Some of the top competitors from last week’s Massachusetts Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship played in the Four-Ball Qualifier on Tuesday. In total, five of the top-10 finishers teed it up in the Qualifier.
(1) Shannon Johnson (Thorny Lea GC)
(3) Sue Curtin (Boston GC)
(4) Chelsea Curtis (George Wright GC)
(5) Megan Buck (Thorny Lea GC)
(T7) Courtney Lee (Thorny Lea GC)
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