HARRISON, NY – NCAA champion Rachel Heck of Stanford gathered to beat Arkansas’ Brooke Matthews in 19 holes Thursday to advance to the U.S. women’s amateur quarterfinals.
Heck, of Memphis, Tennessee, overcame a two-hole deficit by two to play at Westchester Country Club. She wins the par-4 17th with a track mark, draws straight with a 15-foot birdie on the par-5 18th and wins with a two-point par on the par-3 19th.
“I think that’s what this tournament is about,” Heck said. “You expect these kinds of matches. Really high pressure. My hands tremble, my heart beats so fast, but that’s what’s fun.”
In May, Heck ended her freshman year at Stanford with the NCAA individual title – her sixth win of the season. No. 2 on the world rankings for women in the amateur class, she tries to join former Georgia star Vicki Goetze (1992) as the only players to win the NCAA Division I individual and American women’s amateur titles in the same year.
Her father, Robert, works as her caddy.
‘I think it’s very important to stay spiritual [strong], and I think my dad and I really did it today, “Heck said. You know, and never gave up. She would throw a long well, [but] we are still in it. We are not going to fall too much on ourselves. ”
The Q-school-bound Matthews, from Rogers, Arkansas, comes off her junior season with the Razorbacks.
“I just learned you have to fight,” Matthews said. “You can not stop fighting. It does not matter who you play against. Anyone can be defeated on the right day.”
Heck will face Kan Bunnabodee of Thailand, the Purdue player, with a 6 and 5 win over Kailie Vongsaga of Diamond Bar, California. In the morning in the round of 32, Heck beat Grace Kim of Australia by 7 and 6.
In the other quarterfinal in the lower bracket, Jensen Castle of West Columbia, South Carolina, plays Emily Mahar of Australia.
Castle, who plays in Kentucky, beat Jenny Bae of Suwanee, Georgia, 4th and 2nd. Mahar, an emerging senior at Virginia Tech, beat Rianne Mikhaela Malixi of the Philippines by 1.
In the top round, Valentina Rossi of Argentina tackles Brooke Seay of San Diego, and 15-year-old Cara Heisterkamp of Westlake, Ohio, plays Hou Yu-Chiang of Taiwan.
Rossi surpassed Hailey Borja of Lake Forest, California, in 20 holes; Seay beat Canada’s Katie Cranston 2 and 1; Heisterkamp sent Aline Krauter from Germany 7 and 5; and Hou was Emma McMyler of San Antonio 3 and 2.
Rossi plays in Michigan State, Seay in Stanford and Hou in Arizona.
The quarterfinals received exemptions for the 2022 American Ladies Amateur at Chambers Bay.