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Hardin Advances in Girls Jr. Golf

August 7, 1998

ARDMORE, Pa. (AP) _ Leigh Anne Hardin of Martinsville, Ind., won two matches Friday to advance to the semifinals of the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship at Merion Golf Club.

Hardin, 16, the Indiana high school champion and also a member of two state championship basketball teams, beat Celeste Troche of Paraguay 3 and 2, and Jeanne Cho of Bradenton, Fla., 6 and 5.

``I made a couple of putts this afternoon, and that always helps,″ said Hardin, who has needed only 54 holes for her four match-play victories. ``I’ve been playing pretty much the same way every day, and fortunately it’s been good enough to end all my matches early.″

Hardin, also a semifinalist in 1996, will face Kristin Thompson of Napa, Calif., on Saturday. Thompson beat Samantha Fox of Whites Creek, Tenn., 4 and 3, and Ina Kim of Los Angeles 3 and 2.

Jessica Reese of Santa Rosa, Calif., will play Brittney Straza of Fort Myers, Fla., in the other semifinal.

Straza beat Deb Means of Burnsville, Minn., 3 and 2, and Julie Park of Mission Hills, Calif., 3 and 1. Reese defeated Alena Sharp of Canada 2 and 1, and Candie Kung of Fountain Valley, Calif., 1-up.

The championship match is Sunday.

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