Storylines From 2004 U.S. Women's Amateur

 

The average age of the field is 22.1 years. Thirty-seven players are under the age of 18 and 57.05 percent are under 21. There are 20 mid-amateurs (25 years of age and older) and four Senior (50 and older) competitors.

Seven of the eight members of the USA Curtis Cup team are in the field. Erica Blasberg decided to turn pro after the U.S. Women's Open. Those players are Annie Thurman, Brittany Lang, Sarah Huarte, Elizabeth Janangelo, Jane Park, Paula Creamer and Michelle Wie. Wie, Park and Creamer competed in the Women's Open along with Blasberg, who is now on the Futures Tour.

 

A total of 31 competitors in this year's field are foreign-born and they represent 14 different countries, including the People Republic of China (Yoe Hoi Ning Eva) and Switzerland (Niloufar Aazam-Zanganeh).

 

The rest of the foreign-born players are:

 

Korea Yu-Jin Bang, Marina Choi, Ham Sin Ah, Hee-Young Park, In-Bee Park, Sukjin Lee Wuesthoff and Sun Young Yoo. In-Bee Park is the 2002 U.S. Girls' Junior champion and Wuesthoff won that title in 2003.

 

Canada -- Stacey Bieber, Laura Matthews (Assistant women's golf coach at the University of Georgia, 24, fourth Women's Amateur), Seema Sadekar, Jessica Shepley, Marlene Streit and Grace Woo. Streit won the 1958 Women's Amateur and is the oldest player in the field at 70. She is the oldest player to win a USGA championship at age 69 (2003 USGA Senior Women's Amateur).

Mexico -- Sophia Sheridan

Spain -- Tania Elosegui and Elsa Serramia. Serramia captured the 2003 British Women's Amateur.

Brazil -- Angela Park

Argentina -- Maria Gallegos

Australia -- Nikki Garrett, Katy Jarochowicz and Marousa Polias

Japan -- Elena Kurokawa

Colombia -- Carolina Llano

Chinese Taipei -- Hsiao-Chin Lu, Kwan-Chi Lu and Ya- Ni Tseng. Tseng beat Michelle Wie in the 2004 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links final.

Venezuela -- Maru Martinez

Philippines -- Ana Imelda Tanpinco, Mayule Tominbang and Christine Yum

 

Fourteen players competed in the 2004 U.S. Women's Open, including Michelle Wie, Paula Creamer, Jane Park, Jennifer Ackerson, In-Bee Park, Tina Miller, Briana Vega, Taylor Leon, Kim Shin, Brittany Lincicome, Megan Grehan, Amie Cochran, Jennie Lee and Niloufar Aazam-Zanganeh.

 

The field also includes NCAA Division I individual champion Sarah Huarte as well as National Golf Coaches Association first-team All-Americans Elizabeth Janangelo, Charlotte Mayorkas and Brittany Lang.

 

Several USGA champions have qualified or are exempt, but only two former U.S. Women's Amateur champions are in the field: Marlene Streit (1958) and Carol Semple Thompson (1973).

 

U.S. Girls' Junior champions who are in the field include: Leigh Anne Hardin (1998), In-Bee Park (2002), Sukjin-Lee Wuesthoff (2003), Lisa Ferrero (2000) and Julieta Granada (2004).

 

U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur champions in the field are Carol Semple Thompson (1990 and '97), Virginia Derby Grimes (1998), Ellen Port (1995, '96 and 2000), Kathy Hartwiger (2002) and Amber Marsh Elliott (2003).

 

USGA Senior Women's Amateur champions in the field include Marlene Streit (1985, 1994, 2003), Carol Semple Thompson (1999-2002) and Nancy Fitzgerald (1997).

 

One local player will draw plenty of interest this week. Becky Berzonski was born in Erie, Pa., and resides in North East, Pa. She will be a senior at North Carolina-Wilmington in the fall and has been a member of the Dean's List every semester in college.

 

Two college coaches have qualified. Kelly Crawford, 39, of Costa Mesa, Calif., is the head coach at University of California at Irvine. The reinstated amateur is competing in her second Women's Amateur. She qualified in 1988. Laura Matthews, 24, is the assistant women's coach at the University of Georgia, her alma mater (2001).

 

Speaking of students, a total of 31 high schoolers have qualified or are exempt for the championship. That list includes: Alexandra Bodemann, Mari Chun, Paula Creamer, Rebecca Durham, Ashley Freeman; Faith de Guzman, Kimberly Donovan, Julieta Granada, Megan Grehan, Mina Harigae, Courtney Harter, Nannette Hill, Jennifer Hong, Lauren Johnson, Joanne Lee, Jennie Lee, Kasi Lee, Taylor Leon, Kendra Little, Hsiao-Ching Lu, Jennifer Osborn, Hee-Young Park, Angela Park, In-Bee Park, Jane Park, Morgan Pressel, Mayule Tomimbang, Ya-Ni Tseng, Grace Woo, Sukjin-Lee Wuesthoff and Sun Young Yoo.

 

Taylor Leon, who will be a senior at the Pendleton School in Bradenton, Fla., has two brothers (Trent and Tyler) that will be competing in the U.S. Amateur next week at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y.

Meanwhile, Kendra Little's caddie, Steve Mallicoat, looped at famous Augusta National Golf Club in 1999.

 

There are also two eighth-graders who have qualified: Isabelle Lendl and Kristina Wong. They are both 13. Lendl is the daughter of former tennis great Ivan Lendl, who himself is an outstanding golfer who competes in many celebrity events. Ivan is caddieing for his daughter this week.

 

Brianna Broderick of Richmond, Mo., is a former speed roller skater and took fifth in the nation when she was five. She also captured three high school state golf championships in Missouri. She attends the University of Michigan.

 

Holly Cantwell of Morristown, Tenn., once auditioned for America 's Funniest Home Videos by rolling her belly.

 

Irene Cho of Los Angeles and a 2003 U.S. Women's Open competitor used to figure skate from the age of 4 to 10. Whitney Frykman, 18, of Acworth, Ga., also figure skated competitively for 10 years.

 

Kailin Downs, 21, of Bend, Ore., is probably best known for her caddie at the 2002 U.S. Women's Amateur at Sleepy Hollow. It was comedian/actor Bill Murray, a Sleepy Hollow member and avid golf nut. She says people still recognize her from having Murray on her bag.

 

Michelle Doyle has a well-known father, Champions Tour player Allen Doyle. The 24-year-old from LaGrange, Ga., caddied for Allen when he captured his second Champions Tour major, the 2001 Ford Senior Players Championship.

 

Bridget Dwyer, 23, of Kailua, Hawaii, is a staff member at the Hawaiian Leadership Academy, where she works with challenged teenagers. Her father, Jack, was born in Erie and he caddied at The Kahkwa Club as a youth.

 

Natalie Galligan, 41, of Auburndale, Mass., is a middle school English teacher and also a manager in the family advertising business. This is her fourth Women's Amateur.

 

Lauren Johnson, 17, of The Woodlands, Texas lived in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia for 7½ years and learned to play golf on sand greens.

 

Alicia Kapheim, 42, of Pennington, N.J., is an architect and qualified for her first Women's Amateur. She has also run four marathons.

 

Sally Krueger, 46, of San Francisco, Calif., is playing in her 12th Women's Amateur. She is a physician. She also tied for third at the 2004 British Women's Mid-Amateur.

 

Kristen Svicarovich, 19, Hillsboro, Okla., is a brown belt in Japanese karate. She was valedictorian of her high school class and will be a sophomore at Vanderbilt where she is majoring in civil engineering.

 

Gabby Wedding, 20, of Wilmington, Ohio, earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do at age 14. She will be a senior at Kent State.

 

Gina Umeck, 22, of Redlands, Calif., will be a fifth-year senior at UCLA and speaks three languages (Korean, Spanish and English). She also speaks a little Italian.

Compiled by David Shefter, USGA staff writer. E-mail him with questions or comments at dshefter@usga.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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