Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS -

El­iz­a­beth Moon of For­rest City lost her semi­fi­nal match Fri­day in the U.S. Girls Ju­nior Am­a­teur at Boone Val­ley Golf Club in Au­gusta, Mo., in bizarre fash­ion.

Moon, who won her quar­ter­fi­nal match ear­lier in the day, led Er­ica Shep­herd of Green­wood, Ind., 2 up af­ter 14 holes but found her­self all-square af­ter the 18th. On the first ex­tra hole, Shep­herd missed a 15-foot birdie at­tempt to leave Moon with about a 5-footer to win the match.

Af­ter Moon con­ceded Shep­herd’s short par putt, Moon missed left with her birdie at­tempt. Moon quickly pulled her ball back to the spot where she missed and took an­other stroke, which is al­low­able in match play, but only af­ter a putt has been con­ceded. Shep­herd did not an­nounce she was con­ced­ing the par at­tempt be­fore Moon moved her ball.

The end re­sult was Moon, 17, was as­sessed a penalty un­der Rule 18-2, there­fore turn­ing it into a loss of hole that ended the match and sent Shep­herd into to­day’s cham­pi­onship against Jennifer Chang of Cary, N.C.

“To­day, in a semi­fi­nal match of the U.S. Girls’ Ju­nior Cham­pi­onship, Rule 18-2 was ap­plied in re­sponse to El­iz­a­beth Moon pur­posely mov­ing her ball on the 19th green while it was still in play,” said Craig Win­ter, USGA di­rec­tor of rules of golf and am­a­teur sta­tus on the as­so­ci­a­tion’s web­site. “While we are sym­pa­thetic to both play­ers, and no one wants to see a match end in this fash­ion, the Rules are clear in this par­tic­u­lar sit­u­a­tion.”

The two were all-square af­ter the front nine, but Moon won three of the first four holes on the back side to lead 2 up. Shep­herd then won the par-4 15th be­fore get­ting up and down from well be­low the par-3 16th to halve the hole. She then won the par-4 17th to draw even be­fore both play­ers tied the par-4 18th to force the ex­tra hole.

Ear­lier in the day, Moon fell 2 down af­ter 10 holes to Ami Gi­achan­dani of Watchung, N.J. Moon won the 11th but lost the par-5 14th and halved the 15th. Faced with the 2-down deficit, Moon made three birdies in a row to win all three holes to cap her come-from-be­hind 1-up vic­tory.

Shep­herd d e feated Youn­gin Chun of Gainesville, Fla., to set up the semi­fi­nal match-up with Moon. Chang, mean­while, de­feated Cal­ista Reyes of San Diego, 4 and 2, in a quar­ter­fi­nal be­fore top­ping Tay­lor Roberts of Park­land, Fla., 5 and 4 in the other semi­fi­nal.


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