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Trio of Sides Share Medalist Honors at Maridoe Golf Club
Author: United States Golf Association
Gianna Clemente, 13, of Warren, Ohio – the youngest player in the field for the 6th U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship – recorded her second career hole-in-one to propel herself and partner Avery Zweig, 14, of McKinney, Texas, to a second consecutive round of 3-under-par 69 and a share of medalist honors with two other sides on Sunday at Maridoe Golf Club.
Clemente and Zweig – who is one of ten 14-year-olds in the 126-player field for the championship, birdied the par-3 14th hole on Saturday, and Clemente went one better on the 146-yard hole on Sunday, jarring her 7-iron shot to help the duo join two sides – Yale golf teammates Ami Gianchandani and Kaitlyn Lee; and fellow teen tandem Paris Hilinski and Alexa Pano – atop the stroke-play leader board.
Thirty-one teams are set for Monday’s first round of match play, with one spot yet to be decided. Five teams finished tied at 4-over-par 148, and after three playoff holes, the sides of Carlota Palacios, 19, of Spain and Jennifer Rosenberg, 21, of Laurel Hollow, N.Y.; and Ariel Gonzalez and Vania Simont, both 17 of Mexico, will return at 7:30 a.m. CDT on Monday to decide who claims the No. 32 spot in match play.
Zweig said of her partner Clemente’s ace, “I didn’t think that it was going to go in because the greens are so firm, but it was on the pin the whole way. Obviously, it was a great addition to our round and helped us gain momentum to finish strong.”
It was the third ace in U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball history, and the first since Meghan Stasi made one in the second round of stroke play in 2018 at El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana, Calif. Marie Bos made the only other ace, in the first round of stroke play of the inaugural championship in 2015 at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.
Gianchandani, 21, of Watchung, N.J., and Lee, 19 of Scarsdale, N.Y., secured four birdies in their second consecutive round of 69.
“This is absolutely amazing,” said Gianchandani. “We have dreamed of this moment. We have played in USGA championships before and have strived to do this. We are over the moon that we get to hold the medalist title.”
Hilinski, 17, of Palm Beach, Fla., and Pano, 16, of Lake Worth, Fla., matched the low score of the day, 4-under 68. Pano is competing in her 11th USGA championship and third U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball. She earned co-medalist honors in the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur and was runner-up in the 2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior. Hilinski is competing in her fourth USGA championship, having advanced to match play in the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur and competed in the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open in Charleston, S.C.
The remaining 32 sides now move to the match-play portion of the competition with the Round of 32 set for Monday. The first match is set for 9 a.m. CDT. The Round of 16 will be contested Tuesday morning and the quarterfinals will take place in the afternoon. The semifinals and 18-hole final will take place on Wednesday.
Alexa Pano on earning co-medalist honors at 6-under 138 with partner Paris Hilinski: “It means a lot. I’ve been medalist before and its always great going into the next round as the person who has played the best. It gives us confidence because we both struggled to get birdies and get leads this year. Right now it feels like it is all coming together for us.”
Jillian Bourdage, a two-time USGA runner-up in 2019, on earning the No. 4 seed with partner Casey Weidenfeld: “We’re just out here playing everything hole by hole and trying to enjoy our time together before Casey heads off to college. That’s what it’s all about. Having fun and enjoying ourselves out there.”
Thienna Huynh on competing with and against partner Sara Im, who defeated Huynh in 7 extra holes for the 2020 Georgia Women’s Amateur title: “In 2019 we played really well together. We trust each other a lot and play completely different games, which is really beneficial. Going head to head at the Georgia Women’s Amateur championship was exciting. We really were rooting for each other then, but it was certainly a test of our friendship. It’s nice to be on the same team again.”
Maria Jose Martinez on Sunday’s round of 4-under 68 with sister Maria Fernanda Martinez: “Yesterday was our first time seeing the course because we could not play a practice round due to Friday’s weather. Now that we are more comfortable with the course, we are really enjoying ourselves.”
Amy Morton is an assistant manager of communications for the USGA. Email her at email@example.com.