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13-year-old reaches quarters

| Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2006

Nadia Luttner likes to wear long, dangling earrings. She really likes Annika Sorenstam and Tiger Woods. She likes to hit her driver and does so pretty well for a 13-year-old, averaging between 240 and 250 yards off the tee. And she likes to compete on the swim team at Dorseyville Middle School, where she'll be an eighth-grader in a few weeks.

None of those things seem out of the norm for a 13-year-old.

Getting to the quarterfinals of the Pennsylvania State Women's Golf Association's Amateur Championships, however, would not be considered normal. Especially when it's contested on a historic and difficult test such as Oakmont Country Club.

With her 1-up victory over Lisa McGill of Plymouth Meeting on Tuesday, Luttner moved into the quarterfinals of the championship flight in the amateur division.

"It was back and forth a lot with Lisa," said the diminutive youngster, who has been playing golf since she was 8. "I was 1-down after 13, 1-up after 15 and then held the lead all the way in. I never really played the course before, so there were lots of surprises, especially yesterday. Not many good breaks went my way yesterday."

She managed an 83 on Monday in the qualifying round, easily putting her in the top third of all scores. Shooting a good score is nothing new for Luttner, who recently was crowned as player of the year in the Kings Family Restaurant's Junior Tournament series. She won the 14-15 age division by 15 shots at Highland Country Club last week.

She had a scoring average of 76.2, by far the best in her division.

"I really enjoy playing in the Kings tournaments," Luttner said. "Playing as well as I did makes me feel real good about myself and my game."

In July, she competed in the Callaway Golf Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego.

"I didn't do real well there (rounds of 80-79 and missing the cut), but it really gave me a good feel for where my game was," she said.

Luttner will face one of the two players who shot a round in the 70s on Monday, Ashley Young of Upper St. Clair. Young fired a 78 in the qualifying round and then beat Katie Trachok, 3 and 2, yesterday.

A trio of upsets shared the spotlight with Luttner yesterday. In the championship flight of the amateur division, defending champion Dayna Burleigh was bounced, 4 and 3, by 2005 Girls Junior Champion Sarah Bejgrowicz of Lancaster.

The top seed in the first flight of the amateur division, Lisa Poritz of Hershey, was steamrolled, 6 and 5, by Allison Bode, who plays out of Valley Brook Country Club.

In the second flight of the amateur division, top seed Amy Gierlak of Culbertson Hills Resort, was eliminated by Wendy Cimoch of Scranton Municipal Golf Course, 3 and 1.

In the senior division, defending champion Connie Shorb won her first-round match over Gwen Paden, 2 and 1. Senior medalist Liz Haynes (who shot a 75 in the qualifying round) advanced with a 6 and 4 win over Lyn Kurz.

Quarterfinal play gets underway at Oakmont this morning at 7:30.

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