Become Foes For One Match
Future College Teammates Knoll And Underwood Meet In Second Round Of
David Shefter, USGA
Pa. – Whether it’s trying on makeup, shopping for new shoes or working
on a new technique for bunker shots, Mallory Underwood and Ashley Knoll
likely can be found together.
|Friends Mallory Underwood (left) and Ashley Knoll
share a light moment during their second-round match on Thursday.
Knoll posted a 6-and-4 victory over her future teammate at Oklahoma
State. Both will be freshmen this fall. (John Mummert/USGA)
have been the closest of friends since the two met at a local golf tournament
some four years ago. Underwood and Knoll each live in the Houston, Texas
suburbs: the former in Montgomery, while Knoll is some 20 minutes away
at The Woodlands.
this fall, the two 18-year-olds will be packing their belongings and
heading north to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater .
on Thursday at the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Philadelphia Country Club,
Knoll and Underwood put their friendship on hold for a couple of hours.
While neither preferred to face each other in a match, that’s exactly
where they found themselves after both won first-round contests – Knoll
beat Courtney Wood, of Brentwood, Tenn., 5 and 4; Underwood eliminated
Da Sol Chung, of Korea, 3 and 2.
first, I didn’t even see the draw,” said Underwood, who missed the match-play
cut at the 2002 Women’s Amateur and lost in the second round at last
year’s U.S. Girls’ Junior. “She called me and told me and I was like,
‘Oh no.’ But I was just worried about getting through the first match.”
the two arrived at the first tee, they hugged and wished each other
good luck. But unlike other matches, the two enjoyed good conversation
throughout. Knoll, playing in her first Women’s Amateur, took control
of the match from the start and posted a 6-and-4 victory to earn a third-round
matchup with Lisa Meldrum, of Canada, who ironically plays at rival
only thing I was worried about is by the end of the day, one of us would
be out of the tournament,” said Knoll. “We were just smiling and laughing
(at the outset). In a normal match, I wouldn’t really talk to the other
player, but it’s hard not to because we are such good friends. You can’t
just be straight-faced the whole time.”
was Knoll who actually recruited Underwood to look at Oklahoma State.
Although Knoll had looked at offers from Texas and Florida, her heart
was made up to attend Oklahoma State following an unofficial visit to
the campus over Christmas break in 2001. Underwood was looking at Arizona
State, Texas A&M and Louisiana State and didn’t even consider OSU.
was like, ‘No, what’s in Oklahoma,’ ” Underwood said of the recruiting
Knoll kept persisting, telling her friend that the facilities and school
were first-rate. Underwood finally relented and took her recruiting
trip the same weekend as Knoll.
went and looked and it was unbelievable,” added Underwood. "So
it was like, sign me up.”
the two, Knoll has had the more-decorated junior career. She was asked
to play on the 12-person USA Junior Solheim Cup team last fall in Minnesota
prior to the pro version of the international team competition. She
got to participate in the flag-raising ceremonies and meet many of the
was an awesome experience,” said Knoll, whose USA team defeated the
juniors from Europe. “It was good to interact with them (European players)
because I had never really encountered them in golf. I enjoyed meeting
Juli Inkster. She’s a fun person and she was happy to have us out there.”
year, Knoll captured the Texas 5A high school state title for the second
time (she also won it as a freshman) and she has added three more junior
titles, including the prestigious Thunderbird Invitational in Arizona
. She also won an American Junior Golf Association team event with Underwood,
who was the runner-up in the Texas 4A high school tournament.
to the Women’s Amateur, Knoll and Underwood flew up to Wilmington, Del.,
together to compete in the Betsy Rawls McDonald ’s event at DuPont Country
Club. They even shared a hotel room. This week during some of the weather
delays, Underwood and Knoll enjoyed a few card games in the clubhouse.
does my hair a lot,” said Knoll. “I don’t do hers. She doesn’t trust
|Charlotte Mayorkas carried
her own bag through each of the two stroke-play qualifying rounds
and her two match-play victories on Thursday. The Chula Vista, Calif.,
resident and junior-to-be at UCLA prefers lugging her own bag at
competitions. (John Mummert/USGA)
Charlotte Mayorkas, of Chula Vista, Calif., walked back to the clubhouse
following a hard-fought 19-hole victory over Brittany Lang, of McKinney,
Texas, an ESPN production worker drove by in a cart and told the UCLA
junior-to-be that she should get a break by allowing someone else to
carry her bag.
seemed oblivious to the gesture. The 19-year-old is perfectly happy
lugging her Sunday bag around the hilly 6,382-yard layout.
had a bad experience at the 1999 Girls’ Junior,” said Mayorkas, explaining
her reason for eschewing a caddie. “I’m tired, but not like exhausted.
It’s my security blanket. I just like carrying it. It feels weird when
I have somebody else carrying it.”
local caddies can be helpful in reading the tricky William Flynn-designed
green complexes, Mayorkas decided that going solo was the right thing
to do. She did hire a caddie during a practice round last Saturday to
get a feel for the nuances of the course.
dollars was a lot (to pay) for a caddie,” she added. “I don’t really
want to talk to anybody and I don’t want anybody to read my putts, either.
If I don’t see (the line), it’s my fault.”
also carried her own clubs at the Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship
in June down at Ocean Hammock in Palm Coast, Fla. But her stay there
was brief, losing in the first round of match play.
who faces In-Bee Park in the third round on Thursday, was coming off
a strong season at UCLA where she was named a first-team All-American
by the National Golf Coaches Association.
is the furthest I have gone in a USGA event,” said Mayorkas, who placed
16th at the NCAA Women’s Championship. “After I won at ( Arizona State
), my postseason was a little rough.”
wasn’t the only person not using a caddie. Sarah Sasse, a recent graduate
from the University of Nebraska, carried her own for her opening-round
victory over Sally Krueger, of San Francisco, Calif. But she opted to
have a caddie for round two. Sasse had a 3-up lead with four holes to
play against Kailin Downs, but wound up dropping a 1-up decision, losing
the final four holes. Downs, of Bend, Ore., entered the championship
having won the Women’s Trans-National last week in New Mexico.
was not a good day for the youngest competitors left in the field. All
three 13-year-olds, Michelle Wie, Sydney Burlison and Mina Harigae lost
their first-round matches. Harigae, coming off a semifinal showing at
the U.S. Girls’ Junior two weeks ago, fell to Spain ’s Tania Elosegue,
4 and 2. Burlison lost to Ya-Ni Tseng, of Chinese Taipei, 6 and 5, and
Wie suffered a tough 1-up defeat to Maru Martinez.
a 14-year-old, also was eliminated in round two by Paula Creamer, 17,
of Pleasanton, Calif., 1 up, when her 3-foot par putt at the 18th hole
did a full 360-degree lipout.
players from the Greater Philadelphia area were among the 156 contestants
this week, but only Kristen White, of Doylestown, Pa., survived the
match-play cut. White played the longest match of the championship,
dropping a 21-hole decision to Katie Futcher, of The Woodlands, Texas,
who plays collegiately at Penn State. White will be a junior at Ohio
It was a tough
day for the career amateurs as all seven who qualified for match play
were eliminated by the end of the second round. Kathy Hartwiger, the
2002 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur champion, was the lone survivor of the
opening round, but the 37-year-old mother of two was ousted by Diana
Ramage, a senior-to-be at Auburn University, 2 up. The other six to
make match play were Robin Burke, Sally Krueger, Leann Fairlie, Ellen
Port (three-time Women's Mid-Am champion), Laura Shanahan-Rowe (2001
Women's Mid-Am winner) and Cecilia Barksdale.
of the Championship
had the most players in the match-play field with 15, followed closely
by Texas with seven. The Californians went 14-8 on the day, while the
Texans posted a 6-6 mark.
Shefter is a staff writer with the USGA. He can be reached at dshefter.usga.org.