Jane Park's Speech From Women's Amateur Players' Dinner
I'm so proud to be in the Atlanta area on this, the 75th anniversary of the Grand Slam by Mr. Robert T. Jones Jr.
Mr. Jones was the finest amateur to ever play the game of golf and has inspired so many of us to follow in his footsteps. Mr. Jones proved that even if you remain an amateur, you can win major championships. It's an honor to be competing in the city in which he grew up. I went to the Bobby Jones exhibits at Atlanta Athletic Club last week. I had an opportunity to see the historic artifacts that Bobby Jones had left
behind. That made me feel even more proud to be an amateur.
I love being an amateur!
I enjoy playing, not for money, but for the pure love of the game. I loved representing my country on the Curtis Cup Team and the Women's World Amateur Team Championship. Those are honors that come only if you're an amateur.
As champion, I've met so many wonderful people and that has helped me grow. I've learned a lot about myself. It helped me obtain a scholarship to a great college, UCLA. To my school mates, all it means is that they call me "the golfer chick." Guys will come up to me and
ask, "How far can you drive." When I say, 250 to 260, they say, "I can hit it 400 feet!"
My friend Barbara Romack, another Women's Amateur champion (1954), told me that being a champion will have lifelong repercussions. "Jane," she said, "you are in for a lifetime of free USGA dinners!" At least, I'll never go hungry!!!!
I really want to thank the people I've met at Ansley's Settindown Creek Golf Club for being so hospitable and kind to me and my dad. I particularly want to thank Paul and Bowe Lang, my host family
for opening up their hearts and their home to me. It's truly a
blessing to be stuck with them.
Thanks also to the USGA for another great championship. I've loved playing in USGA championships all over the country and meeting so many new people.
For instance, last year's U.S. Girls' Junior was in Fort Worth, Texas. It was fun being announced on the first tee with that Texas twang.
"This is the 8:15 startin' tamm. From Raaancho Cuuuca-muuunga, Caleeforneea, Jaaaane Park!!!"
This is my 10th USGA championship. I'm catching up to you, Carol! I'm a tenth of the way there. This seems like a good time to pay tribute to Carol Semple Thompson. I ask all past Champions, U.S. Team Members & Captains to be upstanding. Carol Semple Thompson, on behalf of all USGA Champions and teams, we congratulate you on playing in 100 USGA championships. This is an incredible achievement and you certainly don't look old enough to have done all this!!! You have been a role model for several generations and we admire your distinguished sportsmanship. For all of this, Mrs. Thompson, WE SALUTE YOU!
Thank y’all, Good luck and good night!
U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship
TICKETS – Admission and parking for all seven days of the championship are free of charge.
WHO CAN PLAY? – The U.S. Women’s Amateur is open to female amateurs who have USGA Handicap Indexes not exceeding 5.4. Entries closed June 15.
DEFENDING CHAMPION – Jane Park, 18, or Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., will defend the title she won in 2004.
THE FIELD – The 2005 field will include seven Georgia players. They are Laura Coble of Augusta, Jackie Beers of Bonaire, Alina Lee of Evans, Kyu Ri Ban of Duluth, Dori Carter of Valdosta, Diana Ramage of Fayetteville and Margaret Shirley of Roswell.
TELEVISION COVERAGE – Match-play rounds will be telecast on The Golf Channel Aug. 3-7 from 4-6 p.m., EDT.
OTHER PROMINENT PAST CHAMPIONS – Patty Berg, 1938; Betty Jameson, 1939, 1940; Babe Didrickson Zaharias, 1946; Louise Suggs, 1947; Beth Daniel, 1975, 1977; Juli Simpson (Inkster), 1980, 1981, 1982; Pat Hurst, 1990; Kelli Kuehne, 1995, 1996; Grace Park, 1998; Dorothy Delasin, 1999.
CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE CONDITIONS – The following mowing heights will be used for the championship: fairways 1/2"; tees 7/16"; collars 1/4". Putting greens will be prepared so that they are firm and fast; to measure approximately 11 feet on the USGA Stimpmeter. Intermediate rough: 1", width approximately 72" along fairways, width approximately 30" wide around putting greens. Primary rough: 2 1/4".
FUTURE WOMEN’S AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP SITES – The 2006 U. S. Women’s Amateur will be conducted at Pumpkin Ridge G.C., North Plains, Ore., Aug. 7 – 13.
MEDIA CONTACT – The Media Center for the U.S. Women’s Amateur will be located in the main clubhouse at Ansley Golf Club. Rhonda Glenn and Beth Murrison will be the USGA staff members on site. The Media Center phone numbers are (678)639-7488 and (678)639-7494.