Smith Leads in N-S Women Final
Kristen Smith holds a 2-up lead over Chelsea Curtis after the morning session of the Women's North and South Amateur Championship.
Heading into the last 18 holes after the morning 18 in the 36-hole final of the championship match being played at Pinehurst No. 2, Smith has used her length off the tee to hold off the grinding Curtis.
Smith, an Australian who is trying to win her first amateur title in the U.S., had a chance to take a 4-up lead over Curtis, but missed a short par putt on the 16th hole.
On the 17th hole, Curtis, a rising senior at Georgetown, had a conceded par putt, and then watched Smith miss a seven-footer for par to cut the Aussie's lead to 2-up.
Curtis, who has endured four matches that went extra holes on the way to the championship, continued to use her mastery of the short game on the 18th hole.
After hitting a bunker on her approach shot, Curtis made a difficult up-and-down to match Smith's par, leaving her 2-down with the final 18 holes to go.
Curtis took a 1-up lead on the first hole, but watched Smith get to all-square on the par-4 fifth hole when Curtis bogeyed.
Then on the seventh, Smith took her first lead, going 1-up, with her par topping Curtis' bogey.
On the eighth, Smith extended the lead to 2-up when she birdied the par-5. Both players parred the ninth, giving Smith the 2-up lead at the turn.
Curtis cut into Smith's lead when she used a par on the 10th hole to top Smith, who missed a four-footer for par.
But then Curtis' putter hurt her a little when she lipped out par putts on the 12th and 15th holes to allow Smith to claim a 3-up lead.
The afternoon session of the 36-hole final is now under way.
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