LSU's Latanna Stone Breaks Through To U.S. Women's Amateur Semifinal Round
Latanna Stone watches her second shot on hole four during the quarterfinals of the 2023 U.S. Women's Amateur at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif. Friday. (James Gilbert/USGA)
BATON ROUGE – LSU’s Latanna Stone did not drop a hole in the last nine holes played as she scored a 3&2 decision over Thienna Huynh of UNLV Friday late afternoon quarterfinals in the United States Golf Association’s Women Amateur Championship at the Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles.
Stone, a graduate student from Riverview, Florida, is now into Saturday’s semifinals against Rachel Heck of Stanford. Heck won her quarterfinal match, 8&6, over Catherine Rao.
Ironically, the semifinal match between the two college stars matches the two golfers who have played in the U.S. Amateur the most in the 2023 field. Heck is making her eighth start and Stone was in the field for the sixth time. Heck will be the third member of the 2022 Curtis Cup team that Stone has faced in match play in this tournament. Stone was also on the victorious United States team in that Curtis Cup.
Stone and Huynh, who defeated LSU sophomore Taylor Riley Thursday in the Round of 16 which prevented an all-LSU quarterfinal, was all even after seven holes with Huynh winning the par 5 first, before Stone won the par 4 second with a par. That was the hole she ended play on Thursday with a birdie on the 20th hole of her round of 16 match.
Huynh again took a 1UP lead on the fourth hole, but a par on the fifth hole got the match back to all square.
Another par 4 on six gave Stone her first lead of the match, but Huynh tied the match again on the par 4 seventh with a par.
But that was about as far as she could go as on the par 5 eighth, Stone hit a booming approach shot that rolled up on the green for a kick-in eagle to give Stone the lead for good. She also won the par 3 10th and the par 12th to go 3UP and coasted in, winning the match with a par on the 16th hole.
“(I was) just taking it one hole and shot at a time, that’s all you can really do,” Stone said on Golf Channel after the match. “Especially in match play and getting to play with a bunch of great women, it’s just a great experience right now. I think the ‘one shot at a time, one hole at a time and one match at a time.’ You can’t get ahead of yourself and you never know when you’re going to get knocked out.”
Saturday’s semifinals will be earlier in the day on The Golf Channel with coverage beginning at 2 p.m. CT.