Courtney Swaim Leads First Round of U.S. Women's Amateur Qualifying

Scarborough, N.Y – Twenty-two-year-old Courtney Swaim of Sugar Hill, Ga., took the lead during the first round of stroke play Monday at the 102nd U.S. Women’s Amateur at the 6,190-yard, par-71 Sleepy Hollow Country Club.

Swaim, a member of this year’s victorious USA Curtis Cup team, shot a 4-under-par 67 and finished one stroke ahead of defending champ Meredith Duncan, 22, of Shreveport, La. Duncan registered a 3-under 68. Two strokes off the lead was Maru Martinez, 18, of Maracaibo, Venezuela, who fired a 2-under 69.

On the strength of a hole-in-one – the first in a Women’s Amateur since Mimi Epps’ in 1998 -- 21-year-old Alena Sharp of Hamilton, Ontario, carded a 1-under 70. Sharp recorded her first-ever hole-in-one when, using a 6-iron, she aced the 194-yard par-3 7th hole. Six other players also finished at 1 under.

Starting on the 10th hole, Swaim had back-to-back birdies on the 13th and 14th. She made the turn 1 under before finishing up strong with birdies on two of her last three holes.

Holding the overall lead can breed confidence, but Swaim wasn’t getting too high. After all, she experienced highs and lows in golf this year, first missing the cut at the Women’s Open before experiencing the Curtis Cup Match success.

“I hope to win,” said Swaim. “You don’t come here to play unless you want to win. I want to get through stroke play. It doesn’t matter what you shoot.”

Swaim’s 67 was one stroke off the mark for lowest score in 18 holes at a Women’s Amateur. Kellee Booth (1998) and Natalie Gulbis (1999) share the record at 66. “I clubbed myself very well today, uphill and downhill,” said Swaim.

Taking the first step toward defending her title, Duncan -- who won last year’s event in stirring fashion with a birdie on the 37th hole at Flint Hills National Golf Club, Mission Hills, Kan. -- picked up where she left off and birdied her first hole. Using a 7-iron on No. 1, a 398-yard par 4, Duncan ripped her approach to 6 feet of the hole.

Staying consistent, Duncan parred the next seven holes until sinking a 12-foot putt for birdie on 361-yard, par-4 9th.

After draining a 25-footer for birdie on the next hole, she duplicated the feat with another 25-foot birdie on No. 16. The putt broke left by a foot before finding the hole.

Being the champion, Duncan is aware that she is the proverbial target -- the player competitors will be eyeing this week.

“When I put too much pressure on myself, I don’t get anything accomplished,” said Duncan, who missed the cut at this year’s Women’s Open.

Speaking of accomplishments, Duncan had a hand in the USA team’s victory in the Curtis Cup Match that was played at Fox Chapel Golf Club in Pittsburgh, Pa. on Aug. 3-4. Duncan halved the 16th hole against Great Britain and Ireland’s Alison Coffey on the final day to assure the USA win.

“We (USA Curtis Cup players) are on a high from that. I’ve had five days off to think about it,” said Duncan.

It was an emotional time to say the least, but the tension was compounded when Duncan tumbled 17 stairs at her hotel the night before the Match was to begin.

“Being graceful, wearing high heels, it was an excellent fall,” said Duncan tongue in cheek. “I thought I stuck it. It was a 10.”

This week all 16 players from the Curtis Cup Match are competing in the Women’s Amateur.

Making her first appearance in a USGA event, Martinez didn’t appear to be star-struck or nervous. Martinez took up the game seven years ago when a family friend introduced her to the sport at a private club in her hometown. She arrived in the United States six months ago and will attend Auburn this fall.

On Monday, she carded four birdies. “I was expecting to play well at this [championship. It is an honor to play in this [championship],” said Martinez.

Recent USGA champions in the field fared decently on Monday.

Nineteen-year-old Annie Thurman of Highland, Utah, winner of this year’s Women’s Amateur Public Links, finished even-par 71. And this year’s U.S. Girls’ Junior winner, In-Bee Park, 14, of Eustis, Fla., recorded a 2-over 73. She is trying to become the first player to win the Girls’ Junior and Women’s Amateur in the same year, although Nicole Perrot came close last year. After winning the Girls’ Junior, Perrot lost to Duncan in the Women’s Amateur final.

And last year’s U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion, Laura Shanahan-Rowe, 43, of Bedford, N.H., was 6-over 77.

The U.S. Women’s Amateur is one of 13 championships conducted by the United States Golf Association each year, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

The U.S. Women’s Amateur is open to female amateur golfers who have USGA handicap indexes not exceeding 5.4. Entries closed June 19.

After two rounds (36 holes) of stroke play, the lowest 64 scorers will advance to match play. The first two rounds of match play, consisting of 18 holes each, is scheduled for Wednesday, with the third round and quarterfinals set for Thursday. The semifinals are scheduled for Friday and the 36-hole final is set for Saturday.

Story written by Ken Klavon, USGA.

Scarborogh, N.Y. – Results of the first stroke-play qualifying round in the 102nd United States Women’s Amateur Championship at the 6,190-yard, par 71 Sleepy Hollow Country Club.
Courtney Swaim, Sugar Hill, Ga., 32-35--67
Meredith Duncan, Shreveport, La., 33-35--68
Maru Martinez, Venezuela, 34-35--69
Danielle Downey, Spencerport, N.Y., 36-33--69
Alena Sharp, Canada, 34-36--70
Adrienne Gautreaux, Mabank, Texas, 36-34--70
Emily Bastel, Upper Sandusky, Ohio, 34-36--70
Brandi Jackson, Belton, S.C., 35-35--70
Hana Kim, Los Angeles, Calif., 32-38--70
Heather Zielinski, Sylvania, Ohio, 35-35--70
Becky Lucidi, Poway, Calif., 34-36--70
Aree Song Wongluekiet, Bradenton, Fla., 39-31--70
Erica Battle, Columbia, S.C., 36-35--71
Katherine Hull, Australia, 33-38--71
Jennifer Perri, Eden Prairie, Minn., 37-34--71
Mina Hardin, Ft Worth, Texas, 36-35--71
Yvonne Choe, Temple City, Calif., 34-37--71
Annie Thurman, Highland, Utah, 35-36--71
Lindsey Wright, Australia, 35-37--72
Meaghan Francella, Port Chester, N.Y., 35-37--72
Carol Semple Thompson, Sewickley, Pa., 35-37--72
Walailak Satarak, Thailand, 36-36--72
Bridget Dwyer, Kailua, Hawaii, 36-36--72
Katie Quinney, Jacksonville Beach, Fla., 36-36--72
Shayna Miyajima, Wailuku, Hawaii, 37-35--72
Angela Jerman, Columbus, Ga., 35-37--72
Kelly Robb, Concord, Mass., 35-38--73
Sarah Huarte, Shingle Springs, Calif., 36-37--73
Michelle Sperry, Poway, Calif., 36-37--73
Rebecca Hudson, England, 38-35--73
Alana Condon, Kent, Wash., 36-37--73
Robin Burke, Houston, Texas, 38-35--73
Courtney Clark, Del Rey Oaks, Calif., 35-38--73
Vikki Laing, Scotland, 34-39--73
In-Bee Park, Eustis, Fla., 36-37--73
Thuhashini Selvaratnam, Sri Lanka, 34-39--73
Ellen Port, St Louis, Mo., 37-36--73

Marta Prieto, Spain, 37-36--73
Laura Myerscough, Charleston, Ill., 37-36--73
Mollie Fankhauser, Columbus, Ohio, 35-39--74
Lisa Ferrero, Lodi, Calif., 37-37--74
Kim Benedict, Rochester Hills, Mich., 35-39--74
Emma Duggleby, England, 40-34--74
Erica Blasberg, Corona, Calif., 37-37--74
Naree Song Wongluekiet, Bradenton, Fla., 39-35--74
Kristy McPherson, Conway, S.C., 38-36--74
D'Rae Ward, Weatherford, Texas, 37-37--74
Amber Marsh, Jamestown, N.C., 34-40--74
Amy Roux, Lincoln, Neb., 38-36--74
C J Kim, Diamond Bar, Calif., 36-39--75
Michaelyn Morgan, Austin, Texas, 36-39--75
Lindsay Morgan, Walla Walla, Wash., 37-38--75
Ashley Hoagland, Palmetto, Fla., 39-36--75
Natalie Aber, Akron, Ohio, 40-35--75
Hwanhee Lee, Cerritos, Calif., 36-39--75
Mallory Code, Tampa, Fla., 35-40--75
Heather Angell, Winston-Salem, N.C., 36-39--75
Christine Boucher, Canada, 37-38--75
Alison Coffey, Northern Ireland, 39-36--75
Sarah Jacobs, Whites Creek, Tenn., 37-38--75
Chris Brady, Cary, N.C., 37-38--75
Leigh Turner, Alpharetta, Ga., 38-37--75
Malinda Johnson, Eau Claire, Wis., 39-36--75
Mallory Crosland, Bethesda, Md., 37-38--75
Elizabeth Janangelo, West Hartford, Conn., 40-36--76
Avery Kiser, San Deigo, Calif., 36-40--76
Gina Umeck, Redlands, Calif., 37-39--76
Sukjin-Lee Wuesthoff, Toms River, N.J., 38-38--76
Kristin Tamulis, Naples, Fla., 36-40--76
Cecilia Barksdale, Columbia, S.C., 39-37--76
Erin Doyle, Lagrange, Ga., 39-37--76
Paula Creamer, Pleasanton, Calif., 36-40--76
Leeann Fairlie, Oklahoma City, Okla., 38-38--76
Ann Pohira, Winter Park, Fla., 38-38--76
Meghan Jolly, Hickory, N.C., 36-41--77
Sarah Jones, Wales, 37-40--77
Laura Shanahan-Rowe, Bedford, N.H., 40-37--77
Jeanne Cho, Gainesville, Fla., 39-38--77
Katie Futcher, The Woodlands, Texas, 37-40--77
Stella Lee, Irvine, Calif., 37-40--77
Ashley Prange, Noblesville, Ind., 35-42--77
Suzi Spotleson, Canton, Ohio, 37-40--77
Virada Nirapathpongporn, Thailand, 41-36--77
Sunny Oh, Torrance, Calif., 37-40--77
Candy Herrera, Apple Valley, Calif., 38-39--77
Lindsay Knowlton, Canada, 36-41--77
Celeste Troche, Paraguay, 38-39--77
Courtney Renfro, Altadena, Calif., 37-40--77
Heather Stirling, Scotland, 42-35--77
Paige Mackenzie, Yakima, Wash., 38-39--77
Dayna Burleigh, Horsham, Pa., 40-37--77
Brenda Corrie Kuehn, Asheville, N.C., 41-36--77
Sarah Sasse, Lincoln, Neb., 37-40--77
Leigh Anne Hardin, Martinsville, Ind., 37-40--77
Sally Krueger, San Francisco, Calif., 37-40--77
Carmen Alonso, Spain, 39-39--78
Stephanie Cheney, Mill Valley, Calif., 40-38--78
Jennifer Thompson, Timonium, Md., 42-36--78
Stacy Snider, Grandville, Mich., 38-40--78
Kailin Downs, Bend, Ore., 39-39--78
Elizabeth Allen, San Diego, Calif., 39-39--78
Carlie Butler, Australia, 39-39--78
Kerry Smith, England, 39-39--78
Mika Takayama, Alameda, Calif., 37-41--78
McKenzie Dyslin, Grand Junction, Colo., 39-39--78
Anna Temple, Berkeley, Calif., 39-39--78
Brittany Straza, Fort Myers, Fla., 40-38--78
Fame More, England, 40-38--78
Meredith Jones, Eugene, Ore., 38-40--78
Courtney Pomeranz, Sanford, N.C., 37-41--78
Seema Sadekar, Canada, 39-40--79
Blair O'Neal, Tempe, Ariz., 38-41--79
Jennifer Tannehill, Oklahoma City, Okla., 41-38--79
Joy Stephenson, Sanibel, Fla., 40-39--79
Mallory Underwood, Montgomery, Texas, 42-38--80
Lindsay Hulwick, Littleton, Colo., 41-39--80
Linda Chen, Cerritos, Calif., 42-38--80
Anna Grzebien, Providence, R.I., 43-37--80
Sarah Seo, Lima, Ohio, 39-41--80
Alison Curdt, St. Louis, Mo., 40-40--80
Hope Edge, Hobart, Okla., 44-36--80
Terra Petsinger, Arvilla, N.D., 40-41--81
Sarah Martin, Grosse Ile, Mich., 42-39--81
Jamee Plastow, Dushore, Pa., 40-41--81
Laura Wells, Scotland, 40-41--81
Corrie Tayman, Bethesda, Md., 41-40--81
Sherry Herman, Marlboro, N.J., 43-38--81
Erin Clasper, N Potomac, Md., 39-42--81
Meghan Spero, Rock Island, Ill., 44-37--81
Katie Jacobson, Grand Forks, N.D., 41-40--81
Sarah Davis, Raleigh, N.C., 41-40--81
Jolene Fellhauer, Grand Junction, Colo., 37-44--81
Elizabeth Burden, Lake Bluff, Ill., 39-42--81
Abbi Francis, Covington, Ga., 41-40--81
Katie Allison, Mahwah, N.J., 38-44--82
Nannette Hill, Pelham Manor, N.Y., 40-42--82
Natalie McNicholas, Baltimore, Md., 43-39--82
Kirsten Davis, Eastham, Mass., 40-42--82
Kelly Schaub, Greeley, Colo., 36-46--82
Anne Sander, Seattle, Wash., 41-42--83
Jessica Lovell, Birmingham, Ala., 40-43--83
Jennifer Elsea, Upper Arlington, Ohio, 42-41--83
Ali Kicklighter, Deland, Fla., 42-42--84
Samantha Maust, Somerset, Pa., 45-39--84
Briana Vega, North Andover, Mass., 40-45--85
Marilyn Hardy, Houston, Texas, 41-44--85
Shannon Johnson, Sioux Falls, S.D., 47-38--85
Terri Taibl, Elm Grove, Wis., 42-43--85
Sarah Hollowell, Houston, Texas, 42-44--86
Anne Fraser, Deerfield Beach, Fla., 40-46--86


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