Wednesday’s first round of match play made for a bad day for the favorites at the 2022 U.S. Women’s Amateur.
The Round of 64 featured upset losses for the top seed Latanna Stone and defending champion Jensen Castle at Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington, as history continued to repeat itself at one of amateur golf’s most prestigious championships. This year marked the sixth time in the last nine years that the No. 64 seed has knocked off the No. 1 seed, and it’s also the second year in a row where the defending champion has lost in the first round.
Julia Misemer, who advanced to match play via a playoff, kept her momentum going with a 2-and-1 victory over Latanna Stone, the LSU senior who also came up just short at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur this spring.
“Honestly I wouldn’t say I was intimidated because we’re all at such a high level, I feel like it’s really anyone’s game,” said Misemer, a rising freshman at Arizona. “I kind of got that No. 64 coin on the first tee and I was like, ‘I want to always remember this as a good thing.’ I just tried to relax.”
Castle, a senior at Kentucky, was locked in a back-and-forth battle with Aneka Seumanutafa but made bogey on the last hole to lose, 1 up.
Defeat the defending champion = earn @Lexus Top Performance of the Day!
A 1-up victory gave @OhioStateWGOLF's Aneka Seumanutafa the honors. #LexusGolf pic.twitter.com/Qsv3HvUygs
— USGA (@USGA) August 11, 2022
“This year has been a whirlwind. It’s been crazy. It’s been awesome. So many exemptions, so many great opportunities and a ton of great learned lessons. It’s been a year that I won’t forget for sure,” said Castle after the loss.
Five of the 32 matches on Wednesday went to extra holes and four were decided by six holes or more, the in a Round of 64 since 2012.
The Round of 32 is already underway Thursday morning, with the Round of 16 to follow in the afternoon. Friday will feature the quarterfinal matches, with the semifinals on Saturday and 36-hole final on Sunday.