UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. (AP) — Saki Baba of Japan routed American Bailey Shoemaker 7 and 6 on Saturday at Chambers Bay to reach the U.S. Women’s Amateur final.
The 17-year-old Baba will face 21-year-old Canadian Monet Chun, a rising junior at Michigan, in the 36-hole final Sunday.
Baba won five of the first seven holes and made an 18-foot birdie on No. 10 for a six-hole lead,
“I was just thinking, `I’m going to win, I’m going to win, the whole time.”
Chun, competing in her first USGA championship, beat UCLA player Annabel Wilson of Ireland 2 and 1.
“It feels amazing, honestly,” Chun said. “Coming into this week I couldn’t imagine being in this spot. I’m pretty happy about it.”
Baba is trying to become the second Japanese winner in tournament history, following Michiko Hattori in 1985. Two Canadians have won the event, Marlene Stewart Streit in 1956 and Cathy Sherk in 1978.
Baba was one of four amateurs to make the cut in the U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles, tying for 49th. She shared medalist honors and reached the round of 32 in the U.S. Girls’ Junior at The Club at Olde Stone.
Chun won the Canadian Women’s Amateur on July 23 to earn a spot in the event and the CP Women’s Open. She led Michigan to its first Big Ten championship in April while earning medalist honors.
The 17-year-old Shoemaker is from Dade City, Florida. She has verbally committed to attend Southern California in the fall of 2023.
The Associated Press