Park Captures 2004 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship
Pa. – Jane Park, 17, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., won the United
States Women's Amateur Championship with a 2-up victory Sunday over
Amanda McCurdy, 20, of El Dorado, Ark., in the 36-hole final at
the 6,365-yard, par-72 course at The Kahkwa Club.
players who have lost in a USGA championship match-play final
and come back to win the same championship one year later:
Jane Park (Women's
Amateur in 2003 and '04)
Carner (Women's Amateur in 1956 and '57)
Donna Horton (Women's Amateur in 1975 and
Cathy Sherk (Women's Amateur in 1977 and
Pearl Sinn (Women's Amateur Public Links
1987 and '88)
Carl F. Kaufmann (Amateur Public Links
1925 and '26)
Billy Tuten (Amateur Public Links 1981
Peggy Conley (Girls' Junior 1963 and '64)
Mason Rudolph (Junior Amateur 1949 and
Tim Straub (Junior Amateur 1983 and '84)
Bobby Jones (U.S. Amateur in 1926 and '27)
Sam Randolph (U.S. Amateur in 1984 and
George Zahringer ( U.S. Mid-Amateur 2001
William D. Higgins (USGA Senior Amateur
1963 and '64)
a brilliant summer day the Park-McCurdy contest lured more than
4,000 spectators to a match that went the distance. It was Park's
first national title after having reached the final in three USGA
championships; this championship, the 2003 Women's Amateur and the
2004 U.S. Girls' Junior.
became the first USA Curtis
Cupper – she played on the 2004 team – to win the Women's Amateur
since Kelli Kuehne
in 1996. She also is the fourth
player in Women's Amateur history to win after losing in the previous
year's final match and the first since Cathy
in second twice, that's pretty awesome, I think,” said Park.
“Coming in first is a whole new thing … and to be able to finally
break through. I can't even put into words how happy I am. I'm just
not an emotional girl; it's all inside of me.”
was three holes down with four holes to play and made a valiant
attempt to square the match. She captured two of the next three
holes and was one hole down going into the 36th green. Then, with
Park facing a birdie putt of 12 feet, McCurdy took three putts from
45 feet, made bogey, and saw her dream come to an end.
course I wish I could have won,” said McCurdy. “I'm a competitor
and I hate to come this far and not come out on top, but second
place isn't always that bad … She's a great champion.”
|Jane Park finally got to hoist a USGA championship
trophy after beating Amanda McCurdy, 2 up, in the Women's Amateur
final on Sunday. (Steve Gibbons/USGA)
enjoyed the encouragement of a partisan crowd that cheered her shots.
said she didn't really care about that kind of thing. “I'm really
good at blocking it out,” she said.
first noticed McCurdy's support from the crowd on the 22nd hole.
“I felt like it was a really tough crowd,” Park
said. “Even though I hit a
good shot [to within four feet of the hole] it was nothing.”
took a 2-up lead at the 15th
hole but McCurdy won the 16th and the 18th to enter lunch all square.
the lunch break Park
analyzed her swing and made an adjustment that would carry her through
was pulling my shots this whole week,” she said. “And it's the championship
match and I've got to get it going. So I took [the club] outside.
I just took it a little more upright and my shots were going much
straighter…I hit a lot of good shots.”
the afternoon's play, Park
needed only seven putts (conceded
ones included) on four of the first five holes, making three birdies
and taking a 3-up lead that she would maintain through the 28th
holes 19 through 27, Park
missed just one fairway and demonstrated great distance control
on her approach shots. McCurdy missed four fairways in that stretch
and was unable to hit her approach shots close to the hole.
McCurdy won the 164-yard, par-3 29th hole with a birdie after she
hit her 6-iron three feet from the hole and Park made a par.
went 3 up on the very next
hole. With McCurdy's third shot to the par-5 hole nestling some
10 feet from the hole, Park chipped in from the high fringe 30 feet
from the hole for a winning birdie four and raised her first.
was a pretty easy chip,” said Park.
“It was up the hill. I just needed to get it rolling and it went
in perfectly, center cut.”
cut the margin to two holes with a conceded birdie on the par-3
33rd hole when Park
missed the green and bogeyed. At the 376-yard 35th hole, McCurdy
hit a wonderful iron shot from the rough to just a few feet from
the hole after Park's approach from the fairway flew the green.
150 yards, Park
had chosen a 7 iron. “My adrenaline was rushing so much … and I
absolutely pured that shot,” she said. “It was the best shot I hit
all week and it went 20 yards over the green.”
had drawn to within one hole with one to play.
players hit the fairway with their tee shots on the par-4 36th hole.
“My cousin [her caddie] kept saying, ‘Four, four, four, four,' ”
“He just kept telling me to make par, make par, make par.”
hit her second shot to within
12 feet of the hole. McCurdy was 45 feet to the left of the flagstick.
When McCurdy three-putted, she conceded Park's birdie and the match
ended with the young Californian winning, 2 up.
just wasn't my day,” McCurdy said. “It was her day to win and at
least I pushed her to the 36th hole. That's what I'll take away.”
know the tradition is there and I respect it very much,” Park
said of the championship that
began in 1895. “I'm just glad that I can be a part of it now. My
name's always going to be on that trophy.”
Women's Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted by
the United States Golf Association. Ten are strictly for amateurs.
written by Rhonda
Glenn, manager of
communications for the USGA. She can be reached at email@example.com.
– Results of the 36-hole final match of the 2004 United
Amateur Championship at the 6,365-yard, par 72 course at The Kahkwa
def. Amanda McCurdy,
El Diablo, Ark.,