STEVENS POINT – Lei Ye of China made a 14-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole Friday morning to win a back-and-forth quarterfinal match against Brooke Seay of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., and advance to the semifinals of the 71st U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship at SentryWorld.
Ye faces Nicole Whiston of San Diego at 11:45 a.m. In the other semifinal, which started at 11:15 a.m., Jillian Bourdage of Tamarac, Fla., faces top-seeded Yuka Saso of the Philippines.
The winners advance to the 36-hole championship match Saturday.
After Ye went 3-up, Seay won Nos. 14, 15 and 17, the latter with a long birdie putt, to square the match. Ye then made the winning putt on the 18th.
Saso made five birdies and went bogey-free in a 2-up victory over Rose Zhang of Irvine, Calif. Saso was 1-down after Zhang ran off three consecutive birdies on Nos. 9, 10 and 11, but Saso birdied the par-5 14th to draw even, won No. 17 with a par and birdied No. 18 to close out the match.
Zhang planned to caddie for Ye, her close friend, in the semifinals.
Bourdage was 3-up in her quarterfinal match against Lauren Beaudreau of Lemont, Ill., but Beaudreau won No. 13 with a birdie and No. 15 with a par to cut the lead to one. Both players birdied the No. 16, the par-3 flower hole, before Bourdage birdied No. 17 to win 2 and 1.
Whiston and Briana Chacon of Whittier, Calif., were even after 13 holes, before Whiston won No. 14 with a par and No. 15 with a birdie to go 2-up. Chacon won the 16th with a par but could only match Whiston’s pars on the final two holes.