Schallenberg takes quarterfinal win to bank

Updated: August 11, 2006, 11:12 PM ET
Associated Press

NORTH PLAINS, Ore. -- Katharina Schallenberg, a one-time bank clerk back home in Germany, upset Duke's Jennie Lee on Friday to advance to the semifinal round of the U.S. Women's amateur.

Quarterfinal results
Katharina Schallenberg, Germany, def. Jennie Lee, Huntington Beach, Calif., 1 up

Stacy Lewis, The Woodlands, Texas, def. Ayaka Kaneko, Honolulu, Hawaii, 6 & 4

Lindy Duncan, Plantation, Fla., def. Jennie Arseneault, Grinnell, Iowa, 19 holes

Kimberly Kim, Hilo, Hawaii, def. Eileen Vargas, Colombia, 3 & 1

Schallenberg, 26, never trailed in the match, which she won 1 up under sunny skies at the Witch Hollow course at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.

Lee, 18, was the only member of the U.S. team that won the Curtis Cup last month to reach the quarterfinal round. Earlier this year, she helped the Blue Devils to their second straight national championship.

"I was quite disappointed," she said. "I guess everybody makes stupid mistakes. It happens. But I guess today, it just wasn't a good loss."

Lee won the match that gave the United States the biennial Curtis Cup competition over a team from Britain and Ireland at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort on the southern Oregon coast.

Decked out in garb from the Curtis Cup, Lee easily had the biggest following. One person held a sign occasionally that read, "Lee -- Way to Go."

But Schallenberg was focused and consistent, clinching it with a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-5 No. 18 at the 6,380-yard, par-71 course. She smiled broadly and giggled, for one of her most demonstrative moments of the day.

"I'm excited because I know I can win against the girls," she said. "Before, I didn't know it."

Schallenberg briefly played at the University of Oregon in 2000 but quit because she had a fear of flying. She returned to Germany, where she apprenticed to be a bank clerk but found it "too boring," and is now studying international business.

She won the 2005 and 2006 International German Amateur Championships.

Her family and friends watched the quarterfinals via the Internet back home.

In Saturday's semifinals, Schallenberg will face Stacy Lewis, who defeated 16-year-old Ayaka Kaneko of Honolulu, 6 and 4.

Kaneko's game crumbled as the match went on. When her final shot on No. 14 went into the bushes beyond the green, she conceded the match to the 21-year-old Lewis, who won 6 and 4.

"It's just awesome to have the opportunity to make it this far," said Lewis, who will be a junior at Arkansas. "It's just crazy."

Hawaii's Kimberly Kim, at 14 the youngest player still in the match, defeated Colombian Eileen Vargas 3 and 1.

Kim was the runner up at the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links and was the youngest to make the cut at the U.S. Women's Open.

Despite sleeping in until about 11 a.m., Kim struggled with fatigue early in her match. A pep talk by her caddie -- who works as a caddie at Pumpkin Ridge -- got her back in it.

"I stopped thinking about mechanics and just swung it," she said.

Kim will face 15-year-old Lindy Duncan, who defeated Jennie Arseneault, a soon-to-be sophomore at Virginia, by winning the 19th hole.

"Jenny played really well. I was just lucky to keep up with her and put myself where I could halve the last hole and get into a playoff," said Duncan, of Plantation, Fla.

Duncan does not go to a traditional high school, instead taking her classes online so she can devote more time to practice.

Last year's Amateur was won by 17-year-old Morgan Pressel at the Ansley Golf Club's Settindown Creek course in Roswell, Ga.

Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club was the site of the U.S. Women's Open in 1997 and 2003. Tiger Woods won the 1996 U.S. Amateur at the club.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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