PARK, McCURDY ALL SQUARE THROUGH 18

AT 2004 U.S. WOMEN'S AMATEUR FINAL

 

 

Erie, Pa. Jane Park, 17, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and Amanda McCurdy, 20, of El Dorado, Ark., are all square midway through the 36-hole final of the 2004 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship being held at the par-72, 6,356-yard Kahkwa Club Sunday.

 

The players matched pars on the first three holes, and then McCurdy struck first on the par-4, 354-yard fourth hole, when Park's approach sailed over the green. Park chipped to 4 feet but missed her par putt. Meanwhile, McCurdy was on in two and two-putted from 20 feet to take a 1-up advantage.

 

Jane Park chips up to the green on the fourth hole during the championship final Sunday at the Kahkwa Club. (USGA/Steven Gibbons)

Park came back on the 367-yard par-4 fifth hole when she made an 8-foot birdie putt. McCurdy two-putted from 20 feet and again the two were all square.

 

McCurdy would again take the lead on the par-5, 469-yard eighth hole. Park found trouble off the tee as her ball entered the left fairway bunker. She advanced it to the left rough before landing her approach short of the green in the rough. McCurdy hit her approach to 6 feet and made her birdie putt to regain the lead.

 

But Park, playing in her second consecutive Women's Amateur final, would again square things a hole later, when she made an 8-foot birdie putt on the par-4, 386-yard ninth hole.

 

Park took her first lead of the day on the par-3, 164-yard 11th hole when she hit a 6-iron to 18 feet and made her birdie putt. McCurdy missed a 12-footer to halve the hole.

 

After trading pars on the next three holes, Park extended her lead on the par-3, 196-yard 15th . Park hit a 5-iron to within three feet, while McCurdy's tee shot with a 3-wood sailed the green. After chipping over the green from the back rough, she conceded Park's birdie putt to give Park a 2-up edge.

 

But McCurdy came back on the 338-yard 16th when she hit a pitching wedge to 5 feet. After both players parred the 376-yard 17th hole, McCurdy squared the match on the par-4, 364-yard 18th. McCurdy hit a 7-iron to 9 feet, while Park's approach hit the green but rolled off. After Park chipped to 12 feet and missed her par putt, she conceded McCurdy's birdie putt and the two were all square after the morning session.

 

With the usual match-play concessions, McCurdy played her first 18 holes two under par, while Park was one under.

 

Park is trying to become just the fourth player to win the Women's Amateur the year after losing in the championship final, joining JoAnne Gunderson (1957), Donna Horton (1976) and Cathy Sherk (1978).

 

The championship final continues with the final 18 holes Sunday afternoon.

 

Story written by Beth Murrison, manager of media relations for the USGA. E-mail her with questions or comments at bmurrison@usga.org.

 

 

 

 

 

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