Stetson's Mallory Viera is just 36 holes away from claiming the title at the 84th Florida Women’s Amateur Championship In Vero Beach after a dominating performance on Tuesday.
On a day marked with close matches and weather delays, Viera won twice by scores of 4&3 to advance to Wednesday's 36-hole showdown with Yuanru Yin.
Viera defeated Katie Mitchell, of Fernandina Beach, in Tuesday morning’s quarterfinals. She continued her great play from the morning into her afternoon match with Kristine Odaiyar. Viera was three up on the green of the 8th hole when the weather sirens went off, delaying the round.
When play resumed, Odaiyar had a long putt for birdie to halve the hole, as Viera was already made her short birdie putt. Odaiyar eventually dropped to 5 down, but was able to battle back, narrowing the deficit to only two, but it was too little too late. Odaiyar’s adrenaline got the best of her on hole 15 as she blocked her drive out of bounds, and then, on 16, hit her drive into a fairway bunker. Viera won the match 4&3.
The morning’s other quarterfinal match was the closest of the day. Ashley Holder of Orlando, faced 14 year-old Claire Hodges, of Sorrento. In what originally seemed like a strong day for Hodges all changed in a three hole stretch. Being down by two going into hole 13 did not stop Holder from playing aggressive, allowing her to win three straight holes to get the lead back by one.
Hodges, of course, had a rebuttal, sticking it to within a foot on the 16th hole to bring the match back to all square. With pars down the stretch on 17 and 18, Holder and Hodges were faced with the dog-leg right, par four hole 1 to determine who would make it to the afternoon. Holder stuck with her routine and was able to pull off a win with a par over Hodges’ bogey.
Ashley went on to face Yin, of Orlando, in the afternoon semi-final.
Yin’s consistency and lack of mistakes let her glide to a 5&4 morning victory over Ormond Beach’s Emma Albrecht . Albrecht played great golf all week, but Yin’s game was unbeatable. Like in the morning, Yin brought her consistency and determination in her afternoon match against Holder. Interrupted mid-match by a two hour weather delay, Yin's nerves were still calm.
Holder held a one up lead going into hole 10 when they started after the delay, but Yin quickly got on fire when she stuck her iron to two feet on hole 11 to get the match back to all square. Yin then again birdied hole 13 to gain a one up lead. Holder tried to battle back, but Yin claimed the semi-final match 2&1.
Incoming freshman at the University of Central Florida, Kristine Odaiyar of Ocala, had a teeter totter quarter final match against Dylan Kim of Winter Garden. Missing a short putt early on to lose a hole, Odaiyar stuck with it making a couple birdies on the front nine. Kim answered by draining a long birdie putt on 8 to only be one down. However, Odaiyar did not let up as she defeated Kim 2&1.
Odaiyar later faced Stetson’s Mallory Viera, of Howey-in-the-Hills, but did not continue the momentum.
Mallory Viera will face Yuanru Yin in Wednesday morning’s championship match at 8:30 AM in the 84th Women’s Amateur Championship.
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