Thumbnail Bios Of Remaining 16 Players

Erica Blasberg, 18, Corona, Calif.: The University of Arizona rising sophomore was named the National Golf Coaches Association’s Freshman of the Year for the 2002-03 season. Was a finalist for the Honda Award. Posted nine consecutive top-10 finishes at one point during the season, including two victories. Placed third at the NCAA women’s championships. Sixteen of 30 rounds were at par or better. Reached the third round of the 2002 Women’s Amateur. Was medalist at the 2000 U.S. Girls’ Junior. Eliminated Spain ’s last hope, Tania Elosegui , in the second round, 3 and 2. Beat Allison Fouch , a 2003 Women’s Open participant, 6 and 5, in the first round.

Aimee Cho, 19, Korea : Will be a sophomore at the University of Florida in the fall. Advanced to the semifinals at the 2003 Women’s Public Links where she lost to 13-year-old Michelle Wie . Caputred the 2003 Southeastern Conference individual title. Was an Academic All-American and an honorable-mention All-American by the National Golf Coaches Association. Beat 2003 Women’s Open participant Irene Cho (no relation) in the second round, 2 and 1.

Paula Creamer , 17, Pleasanton , Calif. : Qualified for the 2003 Women’s Open, but did not make the cut. Was a semifinalist at the 2003 Girls’ Junior, losing to In-Bee Park . Competed on the USA Junior Solheim Cup team last fall. Also competed in the 2002 Junior British Open for girls. Won the Rolex Girls Championship with rounds of 71-68-69. Finished second to Jane Park at the Betsy Rawls McDonald ’s Girls’ Championship a week prior to the Women’s Amateur. Won the 2002 Polo Championship in Florida . Has won seven of the 12 junior events she has entered this year with three seconds.

Kailin Downs, 20, Bend , Ore. : Captured the 2003 Women’s Trans-National just prior to coming to Philadelphia Country Club. At the 2002 Women’s Amateur, comedian Bill Murray caddied for her at Sleepy Hollow, where he is a member. Lost in a playoff for the final match-play spot. Won the 2002 Oregon Women’s Amateur. Was the runner-up at the 2003 Oregon Women’s Amateur. Will be a junior at the University of New Mexico . Was the 2002 and 2003 Mountain West Conference Player of the Year and 2002 MWC Freshman of the Year. Was a 2002 and 2003 NGCA Academic All-American and was a 2003 honorable-mention All-American. Rallied from a 3-hole deficit with four to play against Sarah Sasse to record a 1-up victory in the second round of the Women’s Amateur.

Sarah Huarte , 21, Shingle Springs , Calif. : Will be a senior at the University of California-Berkeley in the fall. Was an honorable-mention All-American this past season. Was a quarterfinalist at the North and South and lost in the first round at the Women’s Western. She loves all kinds of outdoor activities like snowboarding, fishing, hiking and whaleboarding.

Ashley Knoll , 18, The Woodlands, Texas : Will be a freshman at Oklahoma State in the fall. Has already won three junior tournaments this year, including the AJGA Thunderbird Invitational in Arizona . Competed on the USA Junior Solheim Cup team last fall. Has twice won the Texas 5A state high school girls’ title. She is competing in her first Women’s Amateur. Advanced to the third round of the Girls’ Junior in 2002.

Kwan-Chi Lu , 18, Chinese Taipei : One of three players from Chinese Taipei in the field. All three made the cut for match play. Competed at the 2003 Women’s Amateur Public Links in Florida and made match play. Defeated 2002 Women’s Amateur semifinalist Maru Martinez in the second round, 4 and 3. Beat 2003 Women’s Open participant Leah Hart in first round, 3 and 2.

Becky Lucidi, 22, Poway, Calif.: She is the defending champion, having defeated Brandi Jackson in the championship match, 3 and 2, at Sleepy Hollow Country Club. Helped the University of Southern California claim the NCAA Division I Women’s team title this past May. Lost in the quarterfinals of the 2003 Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship to 13-year-old phenom Michelle Wie , 6 and 5. Has won her first two matches by 5 and 3 and 4 and 2 scores.

Charlotte Mayorkas , 19, Chula Vista , Calif. : Will be a junior at UCLA in the fall. Earned first-team All-American honors this past season. Has chosen to carry her own bag at the championship, saying that she had a bad experience with a local caddie at the 1999 Girls’ Junior. Lost in the first round at the 2003 Women’s Amateur Public Links. Is an avid football fan and loves the Green Bay Packers (has a had cover of the team). Won the San Diego city title this year.

Lisa Meldrum , 21, Montreal , Calif. : Will be a senior at the University of Oklahoma in the fall. Earned the No. 5 seed out of stroke-play qualifying with a 36-hole total of 143. Captured the 2001 and 2002 Canadian Women’s Amateur titles and was sprayed with champagne after receiving the trophy in 2001. Participated in the Candian Women’s Open in July. This is her first Women’s Amateur. Captured the 2000 Canadian Girls’ Junior championship. Was the 2001 Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year.

Virada Nirapathpongporn, 21, Thailand: Duke University star was a first-team All-American for 2002-03 season. She won the Division I Women’s individual title in 2002, edging out heavy favorite Lorena Ochoa . Lost in a thrilling championship match to Michelle Wie at the 2003 WAPL in Florida . Was the equivalent of 5 under par, while Wie was 6 under. Quarterfinalist at the Women’s Amateur in both 2001 and 2002. Also quarterfinalist at the 2001 WAPL. Has not gone beyond the 15 th hole in either of her first two matches.

 

In-Bee Park, 15, Eustis, Fla. (Korean born): Captured the 2002 U.S. Girls' Junior, becoming at 14 the second-youngest winner of the championship. Lost in the 2003 Girls' Junior final to Sukjin-Lee Wuesthoff, 1 up, after taking a 5-up lead through eight holes. Won prestigious Orange Bowl tournament in the spring. Is an accomplished pianist. Playing in her second Women's Amateur. Lost in the second round in 2002. Would be the youngest winner of the Women's Amateur should she win.

Jane Park , 16, Oak Valley , Calif. : Qualified for the 2003 Women’s Open and made the cut. Reached the third round at the 2003 Girls’ Junior where she lost to the eventual winner, Sukjin-Lee Wuesthoff . At the 2002 Girls’ Junior, Park was a quarterfinalist, where she fell to Allison Martin . Came into the Women’s Amateur fresh off a victory at the Betsy Rawls McDonald ’s Girls’ Championship at DuPont Country Club in Wilmington , Del. , shooting rounds of 65-69-68 on the same course that hosts the LPGA Championship. Was second at the Rolex Girls’ Championship in Florida , losing the title in a playoff. Will be a junior at Beaumont High School . Competing in her first Women’s Amateur.

Diana Ramage, 21, Fayetteville, Ga.: Will be a senior at Auburn University in the fall. Competing in her first U.S. Women's Amateur. Competed at the 2001 Women's Open at Pine Needles, but missed the cut. Tied for 11th at the NCAA Women's Championship. Is an avid Elvis fan and loves watching his movies. Reached the third round with a tough 2-up victory over Kathy Hartwiger, the 2002 Women's Mid-Amateur champion.

Aree Song, 17, Korea (born in Thailand , lives in Bradenton , Fla. ): Has twice earned low-amateur honors at the Women’s Open (2002 and 2003). Finished in a tie for fifth this year at Pumpkin Ridge. At 13 years and 3 months, became the youngest champion of any USGA championship when she won the 1999 U.S. Girls’ Junior. Was a semifinalist at the 2000 Women’s Amateur, losing to eventual champion Marcy Newton , 1 up. Caddied for her twin sister, Naree, at this year’s Girls’ Junior. Naree also playing in the Women’s Amateur. Will attend the University of Florida in the fall with her sister. Won her first two matches by 4-and-3 scores. Defeated 2002 USA Curtis Cup player Emily Bastel in first round.

In-Bee Park, 15, Eustis, Fla. (born in Korea ): Captured the 2002 U.S. Girls’ Junior and nearly won the same event this year, losing a 5-up lead over the final 10 holes to Sukjin-Lee Wuesthoff . Two-time medalist at the Girls’ Junior. Already has won four junior tournaments this year, including Orange Bowl in Miami . Was an accomplished pianist before picking up golf. Moved to the U.S. two years ago. Attends Christian Home and Bible School in Eustis . Qualified for match play at 2002 Women’s Am and lost in the second round to Mollie Fankhauser. Had the easiest match of the second round, beating Lindsay Hulwick , 7 and 6.

Annie Thurman , 20, Highland , Utah : Became the first female from the state of Utah to win a USGA championship when she captured the 2002 Women’s Amateur Public Links at Sunriver ( Ore. ) Golf Resort. Competed in the 2003 Women’s Open, but did not make the cut. Will be a junior at Oklahoma State in the fall. Has captured the Utah Women’s Amateur in 2002 and 2003. Edged 2000 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Lisa Ferrero in the second round at the 2003 Women’s Amateur, 1 up. Was a standout guard on her high school basketball team. Was an honorable-mention All-American this past season.

 

Bios compiled by USGA staff writer David Shefter

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