PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – With three match play wins Friday at the United States Golf Association (USGA) U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, Duke University incoming freshman Gina Kim cemented herself in the semifinals and will face Yealimi Noh Saturday at 3:45 p.m. (ET) at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif.
In the round of 32, Kim went up against Rachel Kuehn and registered a 4&3 victory. After both golfers parred the first hole, Kim registered her first birdie of the day on the par three second hole to go ahead, 1-up. A bogey by Kim on the third hole sent the match back to all square.
Kim, a native of Chapel Hill, N.C., would win holes No. 5-8 to go 4-up and not look back. She also won holes 11 and 12 and closed out the match with a par on No. 15. Kim played the 15 holes at even par.
Next up for Kim was Yukino Yoshihara in the round of 16. Kim took her first lead of the day with a birdie on the third hole, but Yoshihara notched a birdie of her own on No. 4 to get the match all square. Following a par on No. 6, Kim would take a 1-up lead and wouldn’t relinquish the lead the rest of the match. She won holes No. 8 and No. 10 and held a 3-up lead. After Yoshihara won holes No. 11 and No. 13 to cut the lead to 1-up for Kim, the Duke freshman totaled a par and birdie on holes No. 15 and No. 16 to close the match out with a 3&2 win.
For a chance to advance to the semifinals, Kim took on Ashley Gilliam. Gilliam jumped out to a 1-up lead with a birdie on the first hole. The deficit was the first of the tournament for Kim. The lead wouldn’t last long as Kim birdied holes No. 4 and No. 7 to go ahead 1-up. She collected wins on holes eight, 11 and 14 and closed out the match with a 4&3 win with a par on No. 15.