Clemson, S.C.—Annabelle Pancake’s record setting run at the 122nd United States Amateur at Chambers Bay (University Place, Washington) ended Thursday evening when Catherine Rao, a freshman on the Princeton women’s golf team, defeated the Clemson junior 4&3.
Pancake had become the first Clemson women’s golfer to reach the final 16 of the United States Amateur by defeating Abbey Daniel of Mississippi State on Wednesday, and Madison Hinson-Tolechard of Oklahoma State on Thursday morning.
The third round match began with the two players tying the first three holes. That was not indicative of the remainder of the match as there were only two tied holes over the last 12 holes. Rao, a native of California, won holes four and five to take a 2-up lead.
Pancake, who had not trailed at any point in her first two matches, won the par four seventh hole with a par. It appeared Pancake was going to tie the match on the eighth hole when Rao hit a poor first putt that rolled back down a hill to 25 feet short of the hole. But, Rao made a miraculous second putt to make a par and tie the hole to remain 1-up.
Pancake was never able to tie the match after Rao made that putt. Rao won the ninth hole to take a 2-up lead, then Pancake won the 10th to get within 1-up. The two golfers traded victories on the 11th and 12th holes.
Rao won the par five 13th hole to go back to 2-up. That was a turning point because Pancake had done so well on par five holes all week. She actually reached the green in two, but three-putted, while Rao made a birdie. Rao then won the 14th hole and closed out the match with a birdie on the 15th hole.
It was a great summer for Pancake, who will begin her junior year at Clemson at the end of this month. She finished second at the Texas Open and second at the Western Amateur, where she won four out of five matches in the match play championship. She also made the cut at an EPSON Tour professional tournament in her home state of Indiana.
Clemson Golfer Results at 2022 United States Amateur
Chambers Bay, University Place, Washington
Stroke Play, August 8-9, 2022
Annabelle Pancake 73-72 145 -1 21st
Savannah Grewal 74-75 149 +3 53rd
Aug. 10, 2022 d. (41) Abbey Daniel (Mississippi State), 5&4
Aug. 11, 2022 d. (9) Madison HInson-Tolechard (Oklahoma State), 4&3
Aug. 11, 2022 lost (8) Catherine Rao (Princeton), 4&3.
Aug. 10, 2022 d. (10) Casey Weidenfeld (Auburn), 2&1
Aug. 11, 2022 lost. (42) Mia Hammond (HS, Ohio), 2&1