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LSU Golfer Latanna Stone Birdies 20th Hole To Make Quarterfinals Of U.S. Women's Am

Latanna Stone in action Thursday at the U.S. Women's Amateur in Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of USGA/James Gilbert

LSU Golfer Latanna Stone Birdies 20th Hole To Make Quarterfinals Of U.S. Women's Am

BATON ROUGE – LSU’s Latanna Stone made a stellar comeback to force extra holes and won with a birdie on the 20th hole to advance to the quarterfinal round of the United States Women’s Amateur at the Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles.

It was the second match win of the day for the LSU grad student as she won a round of 32 match earlier in the day.

LSU sophomore Taylor Riley won her morning match in the round of 32 before dropping a 4&3 decision to Thienna Huynh, a member of the UNLV golf team.

Stone, facing high school star Yana Wilson of Henderson, Nevada, was in a bit of a problem after Wilson recorded five consecutive scores of 3 on the third through seventh holes – two pars and three birdies – to go 5UP in the round of 16 match.

But a Stone birdie on the par 5 eighth cut the margin to four and after a few tied holes, the dramatic comeback began. Stone, ranked No. 34 in the world in the latest World Amateur rankings that came out on Wednesday, went birdie-birdie-birdie on the 13th through 15th holes to get her deficit down to just one hole with three to play.

After both players parred the 16th and 17th holes and a par on the 18th hole would be good enough to come all the way back and force the extra session.

On the 19th hole, the par 5 first, Stone had a birdie putt that could have won the match, but the putt lipped out sending the match on to the second hole on the course, the 20th of the match. Both players were on the green but Stone had the much longer putt which she drained, causing Golf Channel announcer Rich Lerner to comment: “Oh my goodness.”

Miller missed her birdie attempt from inside Stone completing the comeback.

“I was just going out there and having fun,” Stone said on the post-match interview. “I know it’s five down but anything can happen in match play and you have to take it one hole at a time. I kind of did that out there and just tried not to give up.”

On the momentum changing in the match Stone said, “Definitely coming toward the final stretch once I started winning some holes. On 11 I had a nice par putt. It kind of changed the momentum and put a smile on my face. It was like let’s go and do this.”

About the end of the 19th hole and then the 20th: “Well I kind of left myself in a kind of tough situation after one. But I mean I just kind of wanted to play golf and making that putt (on the final hole) really felt good,” she said.

Stone’s day began in the round of 32, less than 24 hours after defeating No. 10 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, Amari Avery. Thursday morning the Riverview, Florida grad student had to face No. 7 Rachel Kuehn of Wake Forest.

In a front-nine stretch in which seven straight holes were won by either Stone or Kuehn, Stone came out of the front nine with a 2UP lead after a birdie on the par 4 ninth hole.

On the back nine, birdies at the par 4 12th and 14th holes put Stone’s lead at 4UP with four to play. Although Kuehn won the next two holes, the pair halved the 17th hole with pars, ending the match for Stone 2&1 to put her in the afternoon match.

Riley, with her mother, former LSU star Michelle Louviere on her bag, in her round of 32 match against Caroline Canales of UCLA was able to get the jump on her rival, winning four of the first nine holes for a 3UP advantage.

A par on the par 3 10th swung the margin to 4UP for the LSU sophomore and to 5UP two holes later on the par 4 12, again winning with a par. Riley would close the match out on the 15th hole for a 4&3 tally.

In the round of 16 match, after tying the first hole, Huynh won the second and fifth holes to go 2UP and Riley could never get back in the match.

Stone will face Huynh in the quarterfinals which are set for a 2:20 p.m. PT start (4:20 p.m. CT) and will be part of the Golf Channel coverage beginning at 5 p.m. CT.