Longest match in USGA history takes 30 holes at US Women's Amateur
Golf Culture

Longest match in USGA history takes 30 holes at US Women’s Amateur

The longest match in USGA history unfolded on Friday in San Diego during the quarterfinals of the 117th US Women's Amateur championship when a scheduled 18-hole match between Lauren Stephenson, who goes to the University of Alabama, and Chia Yen Wu went 12 extra holes, ending on the 30th hole.

After wrapping up the regulation in all square, the competitors went into a four-hole playoff loop, playing Nos. 10, 11, 17 and then 18 before starting the sequence all over again.

The players halved every hole in par, with the exception of the pair each making birdies on the 26th hole of the match, the 18th hole at San Diego Country Club. Wu, who is just 13 and can become the youngest winner in US Women's Amateur history, forced the continuation by making an unlikely 70-foot birdie putt on the final hole of regulation, matching Stephenson's crisply played hole in birdie 3.

Once the match reached the 29th hole, it became the longest match (at least that was supposed to go 18 holes) in USGA history, surpassing a pair of 28-hole matches from different, long-gone eras:

  • Michael Eiserman def. Patrick Honeycut in the 1960 U.S. Junior Amateur
  • Maurice McCarthy def. George Von Elm in the 1930 U.S. Amateur

On the 30th hole, both players missed the green. Stephenson's tee shot landed in an awkward spot where a planted tree and mulch met rough. Wu went 20 yards long of the green with her approach. Both players struggled to control the roll out from their shots, but Wu was closer and sank a 17-foot par putt to win the match.

Wu advances to the semifinals to take on Sophia Schubert.

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