Read below to find out about the
48TH ANNUAL CALIFORNIA WOMEN'S
Held August 5-8, 2014
at Quail Lodge, Carmel
2014 California Women’s Amateur Champion
Carmen Gutierrez Ballon of Berkeley
Carmen Gutierrez Ballon already was a national amateur champion in her homeland of Peru. Now, she has her first amateur crown in the States. Gutierrez Ballon, who was recruited by and plays for Cal-Berkeley, won the California Women’s Amateur Championship on Friday at par-71 Quail Lodge Golf Club, defeating runner-up Victoria Morgan of Pasadena, 1-up in the 18-hole finale.
Gutierrez Ballon was the highest seed remaining (No.8) following the first two rounds of match play. Morgan was the No.30 seed.
“It’s amazing. It was really tough from the beginning to the end,” said Gutierrez Ballon, an 18-year-old sophomore at Cal. “I had some great shots that didn’t go my way early, but at the end of the round it all came together.”
For Gutierrez Ballon, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.
Trailing throughout the first 15 holes, Gutierrez Ballon finally brought the match back to all-square when Morgan missed a 2-foot putt for par on the 16th. A hole later on the par-3 17th, Guttierez Ballon, whose full name is Carmen Lucia Gutierrez Ballon Valdivia, took her first lead of the match, 1-up, when she sank a 6-foot birdie putt. Morgan, a 20-year-old sophomore at USC, had just minutes earlier missed her 15-foot birdie try.
On the par-4 18th, both players missed the green in regulation. Morgan, the Most Valuable Player of the Boys’ varsity golf squad at Polytechnic School in Pasadena in 2012, was unable to make birdie and had to settle for par. Gutierrez, who was in the bunker behind the green, got out and sank her remaining 5-foot putt for par to seal the victory.
“I was really nervous over that putt on 18. It wasn’t easy,” Gutierrez Ballon said. “I told myself, just put the right speed on it. I took a big breath and just focused on it.”
2014 CWAC champ Carmen Gutierrez Ballon
and runner-up Victoria Morgan
For Morgan, who didn’t really start playing competitively until she was a junior in high school due to her fellow affection for tennis, it wasn’t just the 17th and 18th holes that did her in. It was earlier on the back-nine that the feel for her putter began to disappear.
“Putts were dropping for me early, but after that my putting just wasn’t quite as good,” said Morgan, who jumped to a 3-up lead through the first five holes thanks to three birdie putts. “On the back, I thought I could get away with just making pars and not making any mistakes. Carmen had a great finish.”
It was on the pivotal 16th hole, which ended up being the turning point in the match, that Morgan’s putter deserted her.
“It’s not the first time I’ve missed a putt that short and it’s not the last time,” said Morgan, a Trojans walk-on. “It was just a slip.”
Despite the quick deficit, and being behind 2-up at the turn, Gutierrez Ballon said she never questioned herself.
“Overall, during the week I trailed a lot, so I never felt in trouble,” Gutierrez Ballon said. “That and I felt very comfortable on the back-nine. Even when I was down by three I felt that I would make it up.”
Gutierrez Ballon didn’t waste any time in sharing the good news. She made a quick call to her parents down in Lima, Peru to tell them about her win.
“My mom was really, really happy,” Gutierrez Ballon said.
2014 Helen Lengfeld Flight champion Ty Akabane
and runner-up Renata Young
In the Helen Lengfeld Flight Championship, 13-year-old Ty Akabane of Danville, the No.21 seed, defeated runner-up and No.11 seed Renata Young of Walnut Creek, 4 and 3.
Akabane, who will soon start the 8th grade at Charlotte Wood Middle School, took a 1-up lead with a birdie on the opening 1st hole and never looked back. Following another birdie on No.4, she went 3-up.
“I just try to keep a positive attitude and have fun,” said Akabane, sounding like a veteran. “If I hit a bad shot I move on. It’s in the past."
Click here and scroll down for more CWAC State Am reports and slideshows from Jerry Stewart.
From the California Women’s Amateur Committee
FINALS SET FOR CALIFORNIA WOMEN’S AMATEUR: Cal’s Carmen Gutierrez Ballon will battle USC’s Victoria Morgan for the title
CARMEL, Calif. (Aug. 7, 2014) – Quarterfinal and semifinal matches were contested today in the 48th Annual California Women’s Amateur Championship. It appears we will have a NorCal vs. SoCal showdown in tomorrow’s final 18-hole match. Carmen Gutierrez Ballon, a sophomore at Cal Berkeley will pair up against USC sophomore Victoria Morgan.
Gutierrez Ballon made her way to the finals with a morning quarterfinal victory over Texas Christian University player, Alexandara Sborov. The match seesawed on the front nine, but Gutierrez Ballon’s solid 1-under-par back nine sealed the deal
taking it 4 & 3.
Her semifinal match-up was against 17-year-old Sydney Babiak of Martinez. Babiak defeated 14-year old Kiran Sangha in the morning quarterfinals 2-up. The Gutierrez-Babiak match was all square after the front nine. Babiak fought back with a birdie at 10 to go 1-up, but Gutierrez Ballon rallied in the end to take it 3 & 2.
Victoria Morgan garnered her berth to the finals after a close quarterfinal match against Felicia Medalla of Daly City. All square through 7 holes with all pars from both players, the pair traded bogeys at 8 and 9 to again square it up. Medalla took the lead with a win at 11, but gave it back with a bogey at 13. The turning point was an eagle for Morgan to Medalla’s birdie at the par 5 14th. The two parred in to the 18th granting Morgan the 1-up victory.
Northwestern’s Hannah Kim, who in the quarterfinals dispatched of Cal Poly’s Madison Hirsch in a close 1-up victory, battled Morgan in the semifinals. Even par on the front nine with one birdie and one bogey, Morgan was 3-up at the turn. Late round birdies from Kim at 11, 14 and 15 weren’t enough to overcome the rocky start and Morgan sealed the deal with a birdie of her own at 12 and a couple of pars at 16 and 17 to take the match 2 & 1.
The final 18-hole Championship match tomorrow between Carmen Gutierrez Ballon and Victoria Morgan is scheduled for a 7:30 start at the Golf Club at Quail Lodge.
In the Helen Lengfeld flight, 13- year-old Ty Akabane of Danville defeated 15-year-old Hailey White, also of Danville, in a decisive
7 & 6 win and is set to meet Renata Young, a physician’s assistant of Walnut Creek, in the finals. Young made her way to the final match with a 5 & 4 victory over 16-year-old Emma Reyes in the semifinals.
The Helen Lengfeld final match is set to start at 7:40 a.m tomorrow.
From the Calif. Women’s Amateur Committee
A day of upsets at the California Women’s Amateur
CARMEL, Calif. (Aug. 6, 2014) – Match play began today at the 48th California Women’s Amateur Championship. The story of the day was the upset of yesterday’s medalist Andrea Wong who fired a record breaking 64 in the qualifying round. Alexandra Sborov, who plays for Texas Christian University, ousted the medalist 4 & 3. After a solid front nine, Sborov was 3-up at the turn then made birdies at 11 and 12 to go 5-up. Wong, a U.C. Davis Aggie, fought back taking hole 14 with a par. They halved 15 with pars, leaving Sborov, the 32nd seed, with the win.
Sborov’s great play continued with her afternoon round of 16 match against Fresno State’s Laura Scrivner, the 17th seed. Sborov took the match 6 & 5 and is set to play Cal Berkeley’s Carmen Gutierrez Ballon in the quarterfinals.
Number 2 seed Hannah Sodersten, who plays for Fresno State, beat Yealimi Noh, the 2014 California Girls’ Junior Champion 3 & 2. In the afternoon round, Sodersten fell to Cal Poly’s Madison Hirsch who won 2-up. Hirsch will meet Northwestern’s Hannah Kim in the quarters.
Amanjoty Sangha, the third seed and a junior at San Mateo High, fell to Victoria Morgan of Pasadena. Morgan, who plays for USC, took the match 5 & 3 and went on to beat Cal Berkeley’s Alice Jeong 3 & 2 in the round of 16.
Sangha’s younger sister, Kiran, at 14, is the youngest player standing in the championship flight. Sangha defeated fellow 14-year-old Amelia McKee of Paso Robles 6 & 4 and went on to oust number 4 seed Beverly Vatananugulkit, a U.C. Davis player.
A noteworthy upset occurred in the round of 16 when 17-year-old Sydney Babiak of Martinez took down Stanford senior Mariko Tumangan with a 6 & 5 outcome.
It was a strange day at the Golf Club at Quail Lodge. After the round of 16, seven of the top seeds were heading home. Play continues tomorrow with the quarterfinals starting at 7:30 a.m. and the semifinals at 12:30.
Helen Lengfeld Award Winner
From the Committee for the California Women’s Amateur Championships
Andrea Wong medals at California Women’s Amateur with 64
CARMEL, Calif. (Aug. 5, 2014) - The qualifying round for the 48th Annual California Women’s Amateur Championship was completed today at the Golf Club at Quail Lodge. Andrea Wong of San Francisco blistered the field with a record breaking 64, capturing medalist honors. Her round which included eight birdies and one bogey separated her from the field of 67 players by four strokes. Wong’s career lowest round started strong with birdies on the first three holes, then again at hole 7, 12, 13, 15 and 16. The U.C. Davis Aggie was pleased with her round, “I putted well and hit the driver well.” She mentioned she and her caddy were seeing the lines well and the putts were dropping.
Alone in 2nd place with a 68 was Hannah Sodersten, who plays for Fresno State. Rounding out a group of college players in red figures at 2-under-par 69 were Mariko Tumangan who plays for Stanford, Beverly Vatananugulkit who plays for UC Davis and high school junior Amanjoty Sangha of San Mateo.
The cut for the Championship flight of 32 players was the lowest in the tournament history at 4-over-par 75. The rest of the field will comprise the Helen Lengfeld flight. Match play begins tomorrow with the Championship flight starting at 7:30 a.m. and the Helen Lengfeld following after. The Rounds of 16 will be played in the afternoon. The public is welcome.