Ami Gianchandani Captures 96th Women's Amateur Championship
RUMSON, N.J. - Ami Gianchandani defeated Ashleigh Greenham 3&2 and Yoona Kim 4&3 to secure the 96th New Jersey State Golf Association Women’s Amateur Championship Friday afternoon at Rumson Country Club. The stroke play medalist after the initial 36 holes, Gianchandani did not trail for a single hole during her four rounds of match play and closed out all four matches before reaching the 17th hole.
“I think the key was just one shot at a time, one hole at a time,” said Gianchandani, a rising junior at Yale. “It’s easy to get ahead of yourself here and think you know the greens, think you know the tee shots, but every shot you need to take seriously and treat it as if you have never hit it before.”
Gianchandani defeated Ashleigh Greenham 3&2 in the semifinal match, leading 2-up after two holes and finalizing her victory with a conceded par at the 16th hole. That lifted Gianchandani into the final match against Yoona Kim, who made an incredible sand-save par at the 18th hole to defeat 2020 champion Eunice Kim, 1-up, in the semis.
She's played in many, but this is by far her best performance yet!
In the championship match, Gianchandani again got off to a strong start, winning the opening hole with a par and the second hole with a birdie. Kim battled, keeping the deficit to just 2-down through 11 holes. But after winning the 12th with a par, Gianchandani stuck her approach shot on the 13th inside five feet and converted the birdie putt. The 4-up advantage after 13 holes proved to be enough cushion, as Gianchandani finished the match with a par at the 15th hole.
“My wedges were definitely on all week, which was crucial, so I had a lot of looks at birdie,” Gianchandani reflected. “There’s always a few putts that I could have made and a few that I shocked myself by making, but hitting a lot of greens this whole week helped.”
An NJSGA veteran, Gianchandani, 21, won the Junior Girls’ Championship in 2015 at Bella Vista Country Club, the Women’s Four-Ball Championship in 2017 with Christine Shao, and the Women’s Four-Ball Championship in 2020 with Noelle Maertz. Gianchandani has played in several NJSGA Women’s Amateurs, but had never reached the final match.
“It means everything,” Gianchandani said. “I come into this tournament every year knowing how many rounds of golf it is and how long of a week it is. To be able to finally last that long and win it means everything to me.”
For Yoona Kim, it was her second consecutive second place finish in the NJSGA Women’s Amateur. The 19-year old will be a sophomore at Harvard in the fall. Eunice Kim, the event’s 2020 champion, finished tied for third with Ashleigh Greenham, a volunteer assistant women’s golf coach at Rutgers.
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