Misemer Shocks Top Seed Stone; Heck and 13-Year-Olds Win Big

By Greg Midland, USGA

| Aug 10, 2022 | UNIVERSITY PLACE, WASH.

Misemer Shocks Top Seed Stone; Heck and 13-Year-Olds Win Big

122nd U.S. Women's Amateur Home

What Happened

Through the first two days of stroke play at the 122nd U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at Chambers Bay, player after player recited a variation of the same mantra: Seeding doesn’t matter in match play. On a cool, damp Wednesday along the shores of Puget Sound, several higher-seeded players experienced that truth the hard way.

Chief among them was Latanna Stone of Riverview, Fla., who less than 24 hours earlier was riding high after a record-setting 8-under-par 65 earned her co-medalist honors and the No. 1 seed. But rather than making a run at the title, Stone ran into a buzzsaw in the form of No. 64 seed Julia Misemer, who early this morning defeated two other competitors on the last hole of a playoff to earn the final coveted spot in match play.

The 18-year-old from Overland Park, Kan., took full advantage of the opportunity – she won two of the first three holes and never looked back in defeating Stone, 2 and 1.

“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, who will begin her collegiate career later this year at the University of 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.”

Another player who looked relaxed in match play was Rachel Heck of Memphis, Tenn. The No. 3 player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™ (WAGR) is the No. 52 seed but relied on her considerable championship experience to defeat 13th-seeded Melanie Green of Medina, N.Y., by a comfortable 5-and-3 margin.

Heck made some fireworks right off the bat. On the par-5 first hole, she rolled in a putt she estimated to be 65 feet for eagle to take a lead that she never relinquished.

“I feel really good about my game right now,” said Heck, a junior at Stanford and the 2021 NCAA individual champion. “It’s really fun to have my dad [Robert] on the bag. We work super well together. Anything can happen, but we feel really confident.”

Rachel Heck

Stanford standout Rachel Heck recorded a dominant win in the Round of 64. (Darren Carroll/USGA)

Heck was one of six players who competed on the 2022 USA Curtis Cup Team to make match play, and one of three to win their first-round matches. The other victors were Rachel Kuehn of Asheville, N.C., who defeated Ashley Kim, 3 and 2, and Amari Avery, of Riverside, Calif., who rallied to beat Vanessa Borovilos, 1 up. The other players from this year’s victorious USA Curtis Cup Team – Stone, Megha Ganne and defending champion Jensen Castle – all suffered defeats.

The two youngest players remaining in the field both won their matches. No. 2 seed and co-medalist Alice Zhao, 13, of the People’s Republic of China, defeated left-hander Camryn Carreon of San Antonio, Texas, 4 and 3. Fellow 13-year-old Anna Fang of San Diego, Calif., won the first three holes of her match against Taglao Jeeravivitaporn of Thailand en route to a 3-and-2 victory.

What’s Next

The Round of 32 begins at 7 a.m. PT on Thursday, followed by the Round of 16 at 1:30 p.m. Golf Channel will broadcast live from 4-7 p.m. PT (7-10 p.m. ET).

Aneka Seumanutafa

In a close match between friends, Aneka Seumanutafa (right) defeated defending champion Jensen Castle. (Darren Carroll/USGA)


  • A narrow but strong line of storms passed through the area with significant thunder and lightning, delaying the start of match play for 90 minutes. The storms, which are a rarity in this part of the northwest in summer, dropped nearly two tenths of an inch of rain on Chambers Bay in just 20 minutes.
  • Two players in the top 30 of the World Amateur Golf Ranking will square off in the Round of 32: Rachel Kuehn (No. 13) and Brooke Seay (No. 30). They also played together in the first two rounds of stroke play.
  • Players who took the first lead in their matches went 27-5 on Wednesday.
  • For the sixth time in the last nine years, the No. 64 seed knocked off the No. 1 seed in this championship.
  • This is the second year in a row in which the defending champion has lost in the Round of 64: Jensen Castle (2022) and Rose Zhang (2021).
  • Amari Avery was the only player to come back from a 2-down deficit to win her Round of 64 match. In 2020 and 2021, there were six comebacks each year from 2 down or more in the opening round of match play.
  • Decisive victories reigned on Wednesday. Four matches were decided by 6 holes or more – the most in a Round of 64 session since 2012.


“You know, I had a great round yesterday, and it's unfortunate. In match play anything can happen. My biggest takeaway is I had the course record and I feel like I played really well this week, and just unfortunately things didn't go my way.” – No. 1 seed Latanna Stone, on her loss to Julia Misemer

“This is a great golf course. The views are beautiful every hole, it rewards you when you hit it well and you can get it close a lot of different ways, so it's really fun to play.” – Julia Gregg, who defeated Megha Ganne in 19 holes

“Yeah, definitely confident. The cameras and the people don’t really distract me. I’m feeling pretty good about my game, where it’s at right now.” – Aneka Seumanutafa on her confidence level heading into the Round of 32

“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. – defending champion Jensen Castle, who lost 1-up to Seumanutafa, on her past year

“It was a bit weird to start off with. Definitely didn’t expect it to downpour like it did, and then this weird misty fog came in in the afternoon. It didn't bother me too much. You have to take it as it comes with the weather, so it’s fine.” – Maddison Hinson-Tolchard, a 2-and-1 victor over Yixian Guo, on the weather conditions

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