Park, Sasse and Blasberg Lead Early Qualifying in 2003 United States Women’s Amateur Championship


   Gladwyne, Pa. – Sarah Sasse, 23, a short hitter from Lincoln, Neb., joined long-hitting and better-known players In-Bee Park,15, of Eustis, Fla., and Erica Blasberg, 19, of Corona, Calif., at 70 to lead early qualifiers in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at the 6,368-yard, par-71 course at Philadelphia Country Club.

   Aree Song, 17, of Korea, was one stroke behind at 71.

  “This is one of the weirdest rounds of golf I’ve ever played,” said Sasse. “I had 25 putts. The first day I got here, I was playing a practice round and I was literally crying when I got off the golf course because I am probably one of the shortest hitters in this field. I was thinking, ‘This is my fourth Women’s Amateur and I’ve never played a golf course that is going to play as long as this one. My plan today was just to come out and try to break 80.”

  Sasse, at 5 feet 2 inches tall, carries her tee shots an estimated 200 yards. Many in this field of 156 players hit drives of more than 260 yards. “There are only seven or eight holes out here where I don’t have a wood into the green,” Sasse said.

  Her concern turned to optimism when she parred the first six holes. Beginning at the 9 th hole, she had four birdies in a row and from four bunkers, she blasted out and one-putted for par three times.

  “All day I was thinking about the U.S. Women’s Open and how Hilary Lunke was getting up and down like a mad, crazy woman,” said Sasse. “That was pretty inspiring, her being one of the shorter hitters, winning the biggest tournament in women’s golf. I thought, if she can do it, I can do it. I’m kind of disoriented right now because of what I just did.”

  In a day of scattered weather delays, many players stopped and started three times. In more than four hours of weather delays, players, caddies, and parents filled the chairs and sprawled on the clubhouse floor reading newspapers, sleeping, playing cards, watching television, singing, talking and rolling golf balls across the carpet.

  “It’s been very hard out there today,” said Blasberg, who joined Sasse at one under par. “The hardest part probably was with that two-hour delay, just sitting around to play two holes. Then they blew the horn and I made my putt (on the last hole). My group hadn’t finished yet, so I’ve been sitting around for two hours just to sign my scorecard.”

  Park, the 2002 U.S. Girls’ Junior Champion, was runner-up in the 2003 Girls’ Junior. Like many in the field, she blasts her tee shots some 270 yards. She used her length to good advantage with birdies on the first and second holes, then bogeyed the third and fourth. Four more birdies and two additional bogeys gave her a one-under-par round.

  Song was low amateur in last month’s U.S. Women’s Open, finishing fifth overall. Starting on the back nine, she was two under par at the turn before the suspension of play and lost two strokes to par when she returned. “I wasn’t too loose when I started again,” said Song. “There were too many stops. I was stretching in the fairways. When we returned, the course played really slowly. You could hear the water when the ball hit.”

  Defending champion Becky Lucidi, 22, of Poway, Calif., had three birdies on her way to a three-over-par 74. Teen sensation Michelle Wie, 13, of Honolulu, Hawaii, fired a one-over-par 72. Wie changed drivers after a disappointing third-round loss in the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, switching to a 7.5-degree loft from her former 8.5-degree driver. “I didn’t play so good today, but I hit my drives and shots pretty well,” said Wie, the 2003 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Champion.
  Other 13-year-olds in the field fared almost as well. Sydney Burlison, of Salinas, Calif., shot a 74, and Esther Cho, of La Quinta, Calif., shot 75. Mina Harigae, 13, of Monterrey, Calif., was still on the course when play was suspended by darkness.

Darkness ended play at 8 p.m. Play will continue at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday to complete the first round of stroke play. The second round will begin upon completion of the first.

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


Gladwyne, Pa. – Results of those who have completed the first round of stroke-play qualifying in the 2003 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at the 6,368-yard, par-71 course at Philadelphia Country Club.

  Blasberg, Erica, Corona, Calif., 36-34--70

  Park, In-Bee, Eustis, Fla., 35-35--70

  Sasse, Sarah, Lincoln, Neb., 36-34--70

  Song, Aree, Korea, 38-33--71

   Downs, Kailin, Bend, Ore., 36-36--72

  Kiser, Avery, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., 36-36--72

  Oh, Sunhyo, Las Vegas, Nev., 36-36--72

  Nirapathpongporn, Virada, Thailand, 35-38--73

  Wie, Michelle, Honolulu, Hawaii, 37-36--73

  Fairlie, Leeann, Oklahoma City, Okla., 40-34--74

  Burlison, Sydney, Salinas, Calif., 38-36--74

  Lu, Kwan-Chih, Chinese Taipei, 40-34--74

   Alonso, Carmen, Spain, 36-38--74

  Knoll, Ashley, The Woodlands, Texas, 36-38--74

  Lucidi, Becky, Poway, Calif., 37-37--74

   Wade, Whitney, Glasgow, Ky., 37-37--74

  Retamoza, Violeta, Mexico, 34-40--74

  Thurman, Annie, Highland, Utah, 37-37--74

  Tseng, Ya-Ni, Chinese Taipei, 37-38--75

   Hermes, Beth, Dixon, Ill., 36-39--75

   Matthews, Laura, Canada, 38-37--75

   Todd, Lauren, Phoenix, Ariz., 35-40--75

   Chung, Da Sol, Rep of Korea, 37-38--75

  Janangelo, Elizabeth, West Hartford, Conn., 35-40--75

  Marsh, Amber, Jamestown, N.C., 38-37--75

  Choe, Esther, La Quinta, Calif., 39-36--75

   Burke, Robin, Houston, Texas, 37-38--75

  Fouch, Allison, Grand Rapids, Mich., 39-37--76

  Luse, Bernadette, Orlando, Fla., 39-37--76

  Sharp, Alena, Canada, 38-38--76

  Schmucker, Amy, Cold Spring, Minn., 37-39--76

  Clau, Nuria, Spain, 38-38--76

   Condon, Alana, Kent, Wash., 38-38--76

  Hart, Leah, Australia, 39-37--76

   Connelly, Katie, Madison, Wis., 39-38--77

  Underwood, Mallory, Montgomery, Texas, 38-39--77

  Hartwiger, Kathy, Birmingham, Ala., 38-39--77

   Dennis, Stacy, Huntsville, Texas, 41-36--77

  Haverty, Paige, Greenville, N.C., 37-40--77

   Anders, Kelly, Springfield, Ill., 40-37--77

  Song, Naree, Korea, 39-38--77

  Gomes, Ashley, Pleasanton, Calif., 38-39--77

  Cutler, Nicole, Cherry Hills Village, Colo., 38-39--77

   Wooster, Alexis, Winnetka, Ill., 38-39--77

  Cross, Laura, Midlothian, Texas, 38-39--77

  Kurokawa, Elena, Redondo Beach, Calif., 40-38--78

  Shanahan-Rowe, Laura, Bedford, N.H., 40-38--78

   Martin, Allison, Bakersfield, Calif., 40-38--78

  Grzebien, Anna, Narragansett, R.I., 40-38--78

   Martin, Sarah, Grosse Ile, Mich., 42-36--78

  Lemanski, Misia, Grosse Ile, Mich., 38-40--78

   Lewis, Jessica, Bethesda, Md., 40-39--79

  Park, Eom Ji, Canada, 45-34--79

   Fraser, Anne, Deerfield Beach, Fla., 38-41--79

   Gleason, Jennifer, Clearwater, Fla., 39-40--79

  Gauthier, Randi, Sugar Land, Texas, 42-37--79

  Wang, Amy, Kirkland, Wash., 39-40--79

   Boucher, Christine, Canada, 41-38--79

  Lu, Hsiao-Ching, Chinese Taipei, 41-38--79

  Smith, Rachel, Powell, Tenn., 39-40--79

  Yoon, Su Jung, Korea, 39-41--80

   Hilton, Stacy, Lexington, N.C., 40-40--80

  Super, Alissa, Minneaplis, Minn., 40-40--80

  Berkmeyer, Barbara, St Louis, Mo., 41-39--80

  Ward, D'Rae, Weatherford, Texas, 44-37--81

  Dotson, Elizabeth, White Bluff, Tenn., 42-39--81

  Keyer-Scott, Kim, Cincinnati, Ohio, 42-39--81

  Wightman, Juli, Chicopee, Mass., 40-41--81

   Downey, Danielle, Spencerport, N.Y., 40-42--82

  Curdt, Alison, St Louis, Mo., 42-41--83

  Shin, Cindy, Belmont, Mass., 42-41--83

  Rose, Heather, Chillicothe, Ohio, 39-44--83

   Byrnes, Barbara, Mesa, Ariz., 40-43--83

  Springer, Stacy, North Oaks, Minn., 42-43--85

  Gulesserian, Astrid, Argentina, 41-46--87

   Burke, Kelly, Golden, Colo., 47-41--88

  Braschler, Samantha, Red Wing, Minn., 45-43--88

   Adams, Lyndsey, Joplin, Mo., 51-43--94


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