Park, Nirapathpongporn to Meet in 2003 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship
Pa. – Jane Park, 16, of Oak Valley, Calif., and Virada Nirapathpongporn,
21, of Thailand, won narrow victories in their semifinal matches to
advance to the final of the 2003 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at
the 6,386-yard par-71 course at Philadelphia Country Club
|Virada Nirapathpongporn fires her approach shot
to the par-5 third hole in Saturday's semifinal win over In-Bee
Park. (John Mummert/USGA)
edged 17-year-old Paula Creamer, of Pleasanton, Calif., 2 and 1. Nirapathpongporn
defeated Korean-born In-Bee Park, 15, of Eustis, Fla., 3 and 1.
was 1 up through the fourth hole until she three-putted the fifth for
a bogey that squared the match. Park then recorded six birdies, three
of them in a row on the sixth (Creamer also birdied the sixth), seventh
and eighth holes, to end Creamer’s dream of a national championship
final. Creamer had five birdies of her own but trailed in the match
after the seventh hole.
got an early start this morning, but there was a lot of golf to be played,”
said Park . “So I just kept going, didn’t think negatively, made a couple
of birdies and now I’m here.”
also a semifinalist at the Girls' Junior two weeks ago, was already
pointing to 2004 after her loss. “Next year, I know I can do it,” she
said. “I know I can play with these girls. I’m glad to be in the semis
and I have a medal around my neck. One hundred and fifty-two other players
don’t have one and I think that’s a big thing.”
and her opponent, In-Bee Park, have both won national titles. Nirapathpongporn
won the 2002 NCAA individual title while Park captured the 2002 U.S.
Girls’ Junior (she was runner-up this year).
got off to a slow start in the match and trailed by two holes after
four. “I didn’t really feel like I was ready to go, even though I kept
telling myself, ‘Go, let’s go, let’s go,’ ” she said. “For some reason,
I just wasn’t quite ready, but I’m a fighter and I know what I wanted
began collecting birdies in bunches. She birdied the par-3 fifth on
a 20-foot putt, the par-5 sixth on a putt of less than 2 feet, and the
par-3 seventh to take the lead for good. Another birdie at the 12th
gave her a 3-up lead she never relinquished.
was a tough match,” said In-Bee Park . “In my other matches I was always
up, but not today. She just doesn’t make mistakes.”
Jane Park is playing in her first Women’s Amateur Championship, Nirapathpongporn
is playing in her third. She narrowly missed winning the U.S. Women’s
Amateur Public Links in June, losing to Michelle Wie, 1 up, in 36 holes.
Throughout the week, she has said that her goal is to win.
soon to be a senior at Duke University, must first get by her final-match
opponent, an incoming high school junior.
really don’t know her so I don’t know what kind of experience she has
had, but obviously to get this far she has to be pretty tough,” said
was likewise unaware of Nirapathpongporn’s record. “Did she win any college
tournaments?” Park asked. When told that her opponent won the NCAA, she
said, “Oh, my gosh. She has more experience than I do. I guess that can
be an advantage to her. But if I just stick to my game, don’t think about
that and just play like I have been playing this week, I think I will
putting has been superb. Nirapathpongporn is hitting pinpoint iron shots.
Park has the edge in distance from the tee. Nirapathpongporn has a better
chipping game. Both have stylish golf swings. Now, having already played
seven rounds of golf to get to the final, 36 holes more will decide
U.S. Women’s Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted by
the United States Golf Association, of which ten are strictly for amateurs.
Gladwyne, Pa. – Results of the semifinal round of match play in the
2003 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at the par-71, 6,386-yard course
at Philadelphia Country Club.
am Virada Nirapathpongporn, Thailand (143) def. In-Bee
Park, Eustis, Fla. (142), 3 and 1
am Jane Park, Oak Valley, Calif. (143) def. Paula Creamer,
Pleasanton, Calif. (143), 2 and 1
Pa. – Pairings for the 36-hole final round of match play in the 2003
U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at the par-71, 6,386-yard course at
Philadelphia Country Club.
7:30 am / 12:30 pm Virada Nirapathpongporn, Thailand (143)
vs. Jane Park, Oak Valley, Calif. (143)