Nirapathpongporn, Park and Park in 2003 U.S. Women’s Amateur Semifinals
Pa. – Paula Creamer, of Pleasanton, Calif., Virada Nirapathpongporn,
of Thailand, In-Bee Park, of Eustis, Fla., and Jane Park, of Oak Valley,
Calif., survived two matches Friday and advanced to the semifinals of
the 2003 U.S. Women’s Amateur at the 6,368-yard, par-71 course at Philadelphia
|Virada Nirapathpongporn eliminated medalist and
former junior foe Aree Song in the quarterfinals, 1 up, on Friday.
defeated Erica Blasberg, of Corona, Calif., 6 and 5. Park beat defending
champion Becky Lucidi, of Poway, Calif., 2 up. Park stopped Ashley Knoll,
of The Woodlands, Texas, 3 and 1, and Nirapathpongporn ended the chances
of Aree Song, of Korea, 1 up.
match between two ex-patriots, Nirapathpongporn, 21, and Song, 17, was
a classic encounter. Both are experienced battlers with national credentials.
Nirapathpongporn won the 2002 NCAA Women's Championship. Song was fifth
in the 2003 U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Girls’ Junior Champion 1999.
pair made 10 birdies in their match and, with the usual match-play concessions,
each shot 69 before Nirapathpongporn holed a three-foot putt at the
18 th to win, 1 up.
is like a sister, friend,” said Nirapathpongporn. “We have been playing
golf together since we were kids in Thailand, I was probably 14 and
Aree and her sister Naree were 10. It was the three of us at the top.
It’s always been that way. We all decided in 1997, okay, it’s time to
go over to The States. So their family moved and I came over by myself.
Their family kind of took care of me. I would go over to their house
and eat Thai food once every two weeks or so.”
birdied the first three holes on putts of one foot, six feet and 15
feet to take a 2-up lead over Song. They halved the sixth hole with
birdies. Song’s curling 30-foot birdie putt on the 9 th green squared
the match. She moved into a 1-up lead with another birdie on the 10th
hole. A par on the 13th pulled Nirapathpongporn back to even. She went
1 up with a birdie at the 14 th and 2 up with another birdie at the
narrowed the gap to 1 up with a par at the 17 th hole. When both players
made nervous bogeys at the 18 th, Nirapathpongporn was the winner.
Park, 16, played an up-and-down match before defeating defending champion
Becky Lucidi, 22, 2 up.
my gosh, I thought I was going to die,” said Park. “Defending champions
aren’t very easy to beat. I made like a 70-footer on the first hole
to make a birdie and she made like a 15-footer for birdie. So I thought,
wow, this match is going to be tough.”
Lucidi twice managed to square the match, a bogey and a double-bogey
on the last two holes sealed her fate. Park has never trailed in any
of her four matches.
like the biggest match play tournament in the world for amateurs,” said
Park. “How wonderful is that?”
|Paula Creamer shows off
her form during her 6-and-5 quarterfinal win over Erica Blasberg
on Friday. This is her second appearance in the Women's Amateur.
Creamer, 17, easily sailed past Erica Blasberg, 6 and 5, making five
birdies in the 13 holes of her match. One of the top juniors in the
United States, she reached the semifinals of the 2003 U.S. Girls’ Junior,
where she lost to In-Bee Park.
the Women’s Amateur and I am in the semis,” said Creamer. "So far,
that’s pretty good. Obviously I want to win the tournament but we’re
just having fun out there.”
playing four matches in two days, Creamer said the course was physically
demanding but a true test. “It’s very tiresome,” she said. “It’s very
hilly. It’s hot and humid and muggy and gross. You’ve got to drink lots
of water. It’s a great golf course. It’s definitely a good test of golf.”
Park, 15, is the youngest of the four semifinalists. She defeated Knoll,
3 and 1, and never trailed in the match after taking a 3-up lead at
the fourth hole.
Park win, she would be the youngest champion ever, a goal she says she’s
trying not to think about. “She was defending champion in the Girls’
Junior and wanted to repeat, like (Hollis Stacy),” said her instructor,
Charlie Yoo, “and there was too much pressure. Just play, have fun.”
Pa. – Results of the third round and quarterfinal round of match play
in the 2003 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at the 6,368-yard, par-71
course at Philadelphia Country Club.
am Aree Song, Korea (138) def. Aimee Cho, Orlando, Fla.
(152), 4 and 3
8:10 am Virada Nirapathpongporn, Thailand (143) def. Sarah
Huarte, Shingle Springs, Calif. (144), 5 and 4
8:20 am In-Bee Park, Eustis, Fla. (142) def. Charlotte
Mayorkas, Chula Vista, Calif. (148), 2 and 1
am Ashley Knoll, The Woodlands, Texas (148) def. Lisa Meldrum,
Canada (143), 4 and 2
am Becky Lucidi, Poway, Calif. (147) def. Kwan-Chih Lu,
4 and 3
am Jane Park, Oak Valley, Calif. (143) def. Diana Ramage,
Fayetteville, Ga. (152), 6 and 4
am Erica Blasberg, Corona, Calif. (142) def. Kailin Downs,
Bend, Ore. (147), 4 and 3
10 am Paula Creamer, Pleasanton, Calif. (143) def. Annie
Thurman, Highland, Utah (144), 1 up
10 pm Virada Nirapathpongporn, Thailand (143) def. Aree
Song, Korea (138), 1 up
1:20 pm In-Bee Park, Eustis, Fla. (142) def. Ashley Knoll,
The Woodlands, Texas (148), 3 and 1
pm Jane Park, Oak Valley, Calif. (143) def. Becky Lucidi,
Poway, Calif. (147), 2 up
1:40 pm Paula Creamer, Pleasanton, Calif. (143) def. Erica
Blasberg, Corona, Calif. (142), 6 and 5
Gladwyne, Pa. – Pairings for the semifinal round of match play in the
2003 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at the par-71, 6,368-yard course
at Philadelphia Country Club.
am Virada Nirapathpongporn, Thailand (143) vs. In-Bee Park,
Eustis, Fla. (142)
am Jane Park, Oak Valley, Calif. (143) vs. Paula Creamer,
Pleasanton, Calif. (143)