Li Cruises to Victory at 99th New Jersey Women’s Amateur Championship | New Jersey State Golf Association | NJSGA

WATCHUNG, NJ – Katie Li of Fiddlers Elbow Country Club won the 99th Women’s Amateur Championship at Watchung Valley Golf Club on Thursday, June 27. The 19-year-old defeated Ami Gianchandani, 4 and 3, in the title match.

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“I’m excited,” Li said after her victory. “This is my first state title ever. It was really fun, especially because I played such a great round of golf.”

Co-medalists after the two rounds of stroke play, Li and Gianchandani, were ready for a remarkable match. Gianchandani, a two-time women’s amateur champion from New Jersey, won her semifinal against Claire Lu, 5 and 4.

With her win, Li earned an exemption into the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at Southern Hills Country Club, which takes place August 5-11, 2024.

Li was ruthless on Thursday, winning her semifinal match 7 and 5 over Watchung Valley’s Alyssa Roland. The final battle between Li and Gianchandani saw nine birdies between the competitors.

Li took control early in the match and hit her approach shot close to hole 2 for a tap in birdie, taking a 1 up lead.

Gianchandani, 24, evened the match at No. 3 with a birdie on the 454-yard par 5.

Li then drained another birdie putt on No. 5 to regain a 1 lead. She kept her foot on the gas pedal and won holes 8 and 9 with birdies and took a 3-up lead into the turn.

After the turn, Li and Gianchandani tied the next three holes with pars.

Li kept the pressure on the back nine, hitting a dart into the punchbowl green at No. 13, a 128-yard par 3. Both Li and Gianchandani had birdie putts, with Gianchandani leaving hers a little short, but Li took advantage of the opportunity and sank her birdie putt for a 4. lead with five holes to play.

Gianchandani fought back to win the next hole with a birdie while Li carded a bogey at number 14.

Li closed the match on 15, a driveable par 4. Both looked for eagle putts, Gianchandani had a 50-foot putt that went uphill but shot a few feet past the hole. With a chance to end the match, Li did so. She hit a 40-foot eagle putt to secure her win.

“I watched Ami’s putt and I just wanted to get it close, make sure you get a stress-free two-putt,” Li said of her eagle on 15. “When I putted it, I thought that was pretty good, and then just went in. It was a really good surprise.”

Her putter was polished on Thursday and she made a number of putts of varying lengths to win holes.

“One thing that really helped was my putting went a lot better this afternoon,” Li reflected. “Maybe lunch helped me feel more confident on the ball, but I stayed very focused on what I had to do and my goals. Everything just fell into place.”

Semi-final results
Katie Li final. Alyssa Roland, 7 and 5
Ami Gianchandani beats Claire Lu, 5 and 4

Final result
Katie Li defeats Ami Gianchandani, 4 and 3

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