Taylor Totland and Alice Chen are one step away from playing for a major national championship. The current and recently graduated Lady Paladin golfers won two close matches to advance to the semi-finals on May 31st.
Totland and Chen were even with Morgan Goldstein and Veronica Joels after 12 holes. The top seeded team won the match by birdieing the final two par 5 holes. The two birdies on number 13 and 15 put the team up by 2. They finished out the match with a pair of pars to finish 2&1.
The afternoon match was even closer. The two Furman golfers matched up with two golfers from the University of Florida, Maria Torres and Samantha Wagner.
Totland and Chen went to the 16th hole trailing by one. They both made birdie putts on number 16 to get the match to even.
“We’re hyped. I hit a 3-wood that was like 20 yards farther than I’ve ever hit it, so I’m pretty juiced up,” said Chen. “I think a lot of that has to do with playing for a partner, and it’s different than college because it’s like everybody is still individual, but when you combine the score together, this is the result of it,” she said.
Both sides parred the 17th hole, but on 18 Totland hit her second shot stiff. She would be the last to putt and drained an eight foot birdie putt to win the teams second match of the day and advance to the semi-finals.
“We’re both rocking it. We’re playing great golf. So again, just super grateful for the opportunity to do this. This has just been so much fun,” said Chen.
The two New Jersey natives will now face off against a pair of North Carolina High School star golfers. Jennifer Chang and Gina Kim are both 17 years old and from the Raleigh – Chapel Hill area.
The two young golfers came into match play as the 5th seed. They topped the 21st and 4th seeded teams to reach the semi-finals against Totland and Chen.
Todd White and Nathan Smith won the very first USGA Four-Ball title and hoped to have a chance to win another. The former champions won their round of 16 match, but came up short in the quarter-finals.
White and Smith lost out to Clark Collier and Kyle Hudelson 1 up. The two advanced to the semi-finals on a conceeded birdie on the final hole.
“Those guys are legends,” said Collier of Smith and White, who were teammates on the victorious 2013 USA Walker Cup Team. “What a class act. They’re truly an example for the game,” he said.
Collier and Hudelson were not in the original field for the championship. They were added on May 21st as alternates because another team could not compete when one team member was playing in the NCAA finals.
“We said we had already won and had nothing to lose. I mean everything was against us. Beating a great team and us being a dark horse, it was great,” concluded Hudelson.
Editors note* The USGA website contributed to this material.
In the second match of the day Totland and Chen