Blumenherst denies Munoz's bid to win NCAA, Women's Amateur

EUGENE, Ore. -- Duke star Amanda Blumenherst won the U.S. Women's Amateur on Sunday, rallying to beat NCAA champion Azahara Munoz 2 and 1 in the 36-hole final at Eugene Country Club.

Blumenherst, the three-time national college player of the year, was 1-down after the morning 18 and still a hole behind through 27. She squared it with a birdie on the par-4 10th and took the lead with a par on the par-5 13th -- the 31st hole of the match.

"That's a lot of golf to have never been ahead," Blumenherst said. "I think that's just a testament of how much patience that's required."

Blumenherst pulled two holes in front with a birdie on the par-5 16th. Both players parred 17 to end the match, with Munoz missing a 6-foot birdie try that would have extended the match and Blumenherst ending it with a 5-footer.

The two-time Curtis Cup player won the tournament a year after a 1-up loss to Maria Uribe in the final at Crooked Stick.

"I'm so excited," Blumenherst said. "Last year was really tough not winning. I'm very proud of myself with how I played. I wanted this so much. I would have been crushed if I wouldn't have won it. If I hadn't had last year's experience I may have given up a little bit or tried to force something."

Munoz, the Arizona State star from Spain, was trying to become the first player to win the NCAA and Women's Amateur in the same season since Georgia's Vicki Goetze in 1992. Munoz was 2-up after 23 holes.

"I'm happy because I played good, but, obviously, I'm sad because I lost," Munoz said. "I gave my best and that's all I could do."