Amazing turnaround at end of match puts Denver’s Calli Ringsby and teammate Shannon Aubert into Sweet 16 at U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball
By Gary Baines – 5/15/2023
A nice 2023 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball run seemed all but over for Calli Ringsby of Denver and her former Stanford teammate Shannon Aubert.
A day earlier they shared medalist honors in the stroke-play portion of the event, and, at age 27, were the oldest team to advance to match play in DuPont, Wash.
But … in their round-of-32 match, they were 3 down after 14 holes to Amelia Guo of Seabrook, Texas and Grace Jin of Huntsville, Texas. Things definitely didn’t looking promising.
However, a birdie, birdie, eagle (on a par-4, via a 100-yard hole-out by Aubert), par, birdie finish changed all that, and Ringsby and Aubert lived to see another day (competitively) at this Women’s Four-Ball. By winning four of the last five holes, they prevailed in 19 holes to advance to Tuesday’s round of 16.
Despite being 3 up, then playing the last five holes in 1 under par, Guo and Jin were the ones who were ousted, with a 2-foot birdie by Aubert on No. 19 ending things.
It didn’t look like Ringsby and Aubert were on the verge of a 5-under-par in five-hole stretch, but in golf you just never know. Earlier in the day, they had made their first best-ball bogey after going 38 holes bogey-free. They added two more bogeys and were even par through 14 holes before going on their torrid stretch run en route to a 19-hole victory.
“The 18th was crazy,” Ringsby said. “Amelia and I were in the front bunker, Grace was long, Shannon was in the other bunker. I hit my bunker shot to an inch. And they missed their up and downs. On to the next hole, and Shannon hits it to 2 feet. Quite a swing of momentum there.”
Meanwhile, the other two “local” teams — both of which made match play — saw their championship end in the round of 32.
Hadley Ashton of Erie and partner Brynn Kort fell 4 and 3 to co-medalists Anna Davis of Spring Valley, Calif., and Kiara Romero of San Jose. Ashton and Kort, who narrowly missed making match play in last year’s championship, were playing catch-up all day on Monday after Davis, the 2022 Augusta National Women’s Amateur champ, and Romero won the first hole with a birdie. The Californians went on to finish 7 under par for 15 holes.
Meanwhile, University of Colorado teammates Morgan Miller and Malak Bouraeda almost upset their co-medalist opponents — Angela Zhang of Bellevue, Wash., and Alice Ziyi Zhao of Irvine, Calif. — but ended up losing in 21 holes. Miller and Bouraeda had squeaked into match play after being involved in a playoff for the final spots on Sunday night.
A birdie by the two Buffs on the 15th hole had put them ahead, and they kept that 1-up lead through 17 holes. But Zhang, a 14-year-old who recently qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open, and Zhao birdied 18 (Zhao from 65 feet) to force extra holes. Then the two 14-year-olds prevailed on hole 21 when Zhao hit her approach to 10 inches for another birdie.
On Tuesday, both the round of 16 and the quarterfinals are scheduled, while Wednesday brings the semifinals and the final.
For all the results from the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball, CLICK HERE.
About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for ColoradoGolf.org since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates ColoradoGolfJournal.com