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Morgan Wins Match Play Opener

July 18, 2007

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NOTE: Tuesday's story erroneously reported Mary Kate Morgan would play Amanda Blumenherst of Scottsdale, Ariz., in the first round of match play on Wednesday. Morgan was actually paired against Claire Choi of Victoria, Australia.

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. - Former Gonzaga University golfer Mary Kate Morgan won her first round of match play Wednesday at the 105th North & South Women's Amateur at historic Pinehurst No. 2, defeating No. 24 seed Claire Choi of Victoria, Australia, 5 and 4.

Morgan, who graduated in May from Gonzaga and seeded No. 41 into match play following stroke play qualifying, will face Emma Bennett of Moama, Australia, in Thursday morning's first round. The winner advances to the third round Thursday afternoon.

Bennett, the ninth seed, defeated No. 56 Ashley Tait of Littleton, Colo., 2 and 1 in her first round match Wednesday.

Top seed and defending champion Jenny Suh, of Fairfax, Va., began her title defense with a 4 and 2 win over No. 64 seed Ye Lee of Orlando, Fla. Suh will face No. 33 seed and No. 2 ranked amateur Jennie Lee of Henderson, Nev., in the second round. Lee defeated No. 32 seeded Kelly Fuchik of Tulsa, Okla., 6 and 5. Suh and Lee, former Curtis Cup teammates, will meet in Thursday's first match of the second round.

In the lower half of the bracket, No. 2 ranked amateur and second-seeded Candace Schepperle, of Birmingham, Ala., failed to advance.

Schepperle, fresh off achieving medalist honors, lost her first match to Katie Elliot of Madison, Wisc., on the 18th hole by a margin of 2 up.

The victorious Elliott advanced to the match play rounds through a late evening playoff Tuesday and put together a very consistent round to knock off one of the nation's best.

Fourth seed and No. 1 collegiate player Amanda Blumenherst of Scottsdale, Ariz., stayed alive in a hard fought match against another playoff participant, Emma Jandel of Dayton, Ohio. Although Blumenherst never trailed, Jandel was always close. The margin never got beyond two holes and was even at the start of the back nine. Blumenherst quickly changed that with a birdie three at the difficult par 4 eleventh and never looked back.