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Lea Garner Wins First Match at USGA Women’s Public Links Championship

Utah high school champion Lea Garner advanced to the second round of match play Tuesday with a huge 1-up upset victory over the number three seed Steffi Neisen of Minnesota in the USGA Women’s Public Links Championship being held at Neshanic Valley Golf Course in New Jersey.
Garner reached match play in the national tournament by surviving a playoff for the final three match play spots. She shot 73-76-149 in the stroke play portion of the event and is seeded 62nd in match play. Neisen shot 70-68-138 and was the third seed.
Garner now faces Grace Na, the 30th seed from Alameda, California.
Garner earned a spot in the USGA National Public Links by winning a playoff with Amanda Keith in the local qualifying at East Bay. The winner of the local qualifying was Sirene Blair, but she withdrew from the national tournament in order to play in the USGA Junior Girls Tournament, and the USGA committee invited Amanda Keith to fill her spot. Keith shot 75-79-154 and finished 105th in the qualifying round.
Two other Utah quaifiers, Maggie Yuan and Kelsey Chugg finished one shot out of match play. Yuan shot 77-73-150 and Chugg shot 72-78-150. Jamie Millard, the other Utah qualifier, but hails from Arizona, shot 76-85-161.
Kelsey Vines, a former BYU golfer from San Antonio, Texas, shot 71-69-140 in the stroke play portion and was seeded number seven, but lost her first round match 2-up. She qualified out of Texas.