Paly sophomore qualifies for match play at US Junior Amateur


Palo Alto sophomore Ahmed Ali shot a 2-over 74 for the second straight day and qualified for match play at the 2015 U.S. Junior Amateur Championships at Colleton River Plantation Club in Bluffton, S.C.

Ali shot 74-74-148 for 36 holes of stroke play. That left him in a tie for 42nd and 10 strokes behind the leader. The field was cut to 64 for match play, which begins Wednesday. Ali will play Tony Gil of Canada in the first round.

"I'm fairly pleased with my two rounds, considering the course is playing 7,400 yards lone," Ali said via a text. "I hit the ball very well and I'm excited for match play."

Ali had two bogeys on the front nine to open Round 2 before carding three birdies, one bogey and one double-bogey on the back side while shooting an even-par 36.

"I played really well on the back nine and got a little unlucky with my lie on the hole I doubled," Ali said. "I played great otherwise, though."

Ali was fortunate to finish his round before a thunderstorm drenched the area, suspending play.

"It was a downpour," Ali said.

At the U.S. Girls' Junior in Tulsa, Okla., Gunn High senior Anna Zhou improved upon her first-round 75 by shooting a 4-over-par 74 on the second day at Tulsa Country Club.

Zhou, however, missed qualifying for one of 64 berths for match play.

Zhou was 1-under (34) on her front nine, but suffered four straight bogeys starting with the 355-yard, par-4 11th hole. Despite a birdie-3 on the 363-yard, par-4 15th, Zhou double-bogeyed the 387-yard, par-4 18th hole to shoot 40.


Menlo College has signed sophomore transfer Isis Gunn from AIB College of Business in Des Moines, Iowa. Gunn becomes the third player from AIB, which announced in January it will close its doors, to transfer to Menlo as she joins Jessica Madison and Bailey Gasper who signed with the Oaks in January.

Gunn appeared in 33 games, starting two for AIB. She was a perfect 6-for-6 in stolen base attempts and scored 16 runs and batting .500 (5-for-10).

Gunn, a sophomore outfielder from Chicago, Ill., is a graduate of CICS Longwood High School where she was a two-sport athlete. She was named MVP and Rookie of the Year during her prep career.


CiCi Bellis of Atherton both won her first-round match at the $50,000 Gold River Women's Challenger, a USTA Pro Circuit event at the Gold River Racquet Club near Sacramento.

Bellis, 16, the No. 3 seed in singles, advanced with a 6-4, 6-1 triumph over Karina Vyrlan. Bellis was 5-for-5 on break points and took advantage of six double-faults by Vyrlan.

Bellis teamed with Rianna Valdes in doubles later on Tuesday and dropped a 3-6, 6-2, 10-8 decision to Nao Hibino and Rosie Johanson.

Elsewhere, 15-year-old Michaela Gordon of Los Altos Hills qualified for the main singles draw with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Jacqueline Cako. Gordon recently played at Wimbledon, in the girls singles and doubles. She reached the quarterfinals in singles before losing and lost in the second round of doubles.

Also competing this week is Stanford grad Kristie Ahn. She's playing her first match on Wednesday.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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