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Confidence Can't Keep Allison in Game : USGA Girls' Junior: Santa Ana golfer loses despite being pleased with her play. Booth advances with two easy victories.


COSTA MESA — Four down after four holes isn't a good position from which to win a golf match, but Alicia Allison wasn't worried Wednesday.

Allison, a 17-year-old from Santa Ana, figured she had time to get back into the match against Kelli Kuehne of McKinney, Tex., at the USGA Girls' Junior Championship at Mesa Verde Country Club.

Besides, match play is Allison's strength and she was playing great.

"Losing never even dawned on me because I was hitting the ball so well," Allison said. "I was thinking, 'I can get this back.' "

But Allison was never able to get closer than three-down and when Kuehne sunk a three-footer for par on the par-3 16th hole, she knocked Allison out of the championship, winning 3 and 2.

The second-round loss was an unusually early exit for Allison, runner-up last year and a semifinalist in 1991.

"It's kind of disappointing because I feel I'm about on top of my game but I'm out of the tournament," she said.

So is defending champion Fumi Jamie Koizumi, who also lost in the second round. Koizumi, who will be a sophomore at Duke in the fall, was ousted by Jenny Lee of San Bernardino, 3 and 2.

Heather Graff of Kennewick, Wash., one of the top qualifiers and a semifinalist last year, lost in the first round to Meredith Mutcher of Little Rock, Ark., despite being four-up with six holes to play.

But for the most part, the field was pared to 16 as expected.

Medalist Cristie Kerr of Miami struggled a bit on the front nine of both of her matches before winning.

Kellee Booth, who had the second best stroke-play score, dominated her two opponents. Booth, of Coto de Caza, beat Anjeanette Dabbs of Stockton, 6 and 4, and Jaejean Ro of San Jose, 8 and 7.

Booth, who played only 25 holes Wednesday, was two under par when she closed out each of her matches.

The way Booth is breezing along, she could be excused for looking ahead. But she sees dangers in that attitude.

"One of my friends, when we were in the first round, told me that if we both play well we could meet on Thursday.

"And she lost in the first round. So I try to keep my mind off it."

Many were looking forward to a repeat of last year's semifinal between Allison and Booth, but Kuehne put an end to that possibility.

Afterward, Allison was amazed she could play so well and lose.

"I was sticking everything right next to the hole, but I missed a heck of a lot of putts," Allison said.

Kuehne, who lost to Allison in the quarterfinals last year, wasn't missing.

She made birdies on three of the first four holes. "I was really surprised to be four-up because she wasn't even playing bad," Kuehne said.

Allison never recovered, although she made a game effort.

With a par on No. 13, she closed the deficit to three. She saved par and a halve on 14 with a 12-foot putt after hitting her drive into the trees.

But Allison needed to win holes. She could only match Kuehne's par on 15. She made a 15-foot putt on 16, but Kuehne sank her three-footer to end the match.

The other two qualifiers from Orange County, Jenny Glasgow of Corona del Mar and Candida Kim of Coto de Caza lost.

Glasgow won her first-round match, 1-up, over Jenny Gray of Martinsville, Ind., before losing to Erika Hayashida of Lima, Peru, 4 and 3. Kim was beaten by Laura Blessey of Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., 6 and 4.


Today's round of 16 matches start at 8 a.m. The first quarterfinal tee time is at 1 p.m. Kellee Booth faces Keridwen Cornelius of Scottsdale, Ariz., at 8:32.

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