An Interview With Alison Whitaker
RHONDA GLENN: What is your reaction to the match today?
ALISON WHITAKER: Maru played really well. She didn't make any mistakes. You know, she just kept burning the flag all day really and holing a lot of putts. And every time I kind of tried to force the play or make something happening, it kind of turned bad on me. So, yeah, it was one of those days.
Q. On the back, we watch a couple 3-, 4- and 5-footers that didn't go in a couple holes in a row; that snuck up on you?
ALISON WHITAKER: I think my first putts were letting me down on a few holes, and that can go right back to the tee shot on a lot of those holes, not putting it in the right spot. A lot of these courses are really dependent on placing the ball and that was something that I really struggled with today.
I made a few putts on the first 11 holes and then Maru, they just kept going in.
RHONDA GLENN: Did you hit a lot of greens?
ALISON WHITAKER: Not as many as I usually do. That's usually one of my best stats, but today kind of let me down a little bit. Put a lot of pressure on my putting which held up the first few holes. Yeah, when you're relying on 10‑footers for par, it's hard.
Q. Do you think you'll do a summer tour next year?
ALISON WHITAKER: Yeah, definitely. I don't have to qualify. I'm happy about that.
Q. You have a two-year exemption.
ALISON WHITAKER: Really? Well, yeah, I'll be coming back. I might have a bit of a look at Europe, as well, because I want to play in the British Amateur, and I want to have a crack at the non-English speaking countries, a bit of a change over there.
Q. What else are you playing over there?
ALISON WHITAKER: Just the British.
Q. What else would you play?
ALISON WHITAKER: What else would I play? They usually have the French Stroke Play at the same time as the British Amateur and it worked out really good for the girls that went over last year, their tournament schedule was really smart. This next year, hopefully I'll be able to come over to Europe and then come over here again.
Q. Are there any other events in the States that you would like to play in?
ALISON WHITAKER: Well, coming over to this, I'll probably play the North and South next year because I have to get home for training and things like that next week. Puts a little bit more pressure on me to get home, but I think if I plan to do that, it may be more accepted.
Q. This is your first USGA event and you get to the semis; talk about that.
ALISON WHITAKER: Well, I have to say that the day where I played Amanda and Ryann, those were big days for me, just how I look at myself out on the golf course. And they are probably two of the best -- Amanda holing a few big putts for birdies and then just going the extra holes, that gave me a nice little boost. You know, just knowing that you can do it and you don't necessarily have to be No. 1, that's the key for me this week.
Q. Have there been many Australians that have come over here recently on the American tour?
ALISON WHITAKER: The girls, there was a group of three or four girls that came over last year and played I think three or four played in this event as well or they qualified and then turned pro. There's generally two or three people coming each year, and it's sort of a new crowd this year, but I'll be back next year.
RHONDA GLENN: Of course Jan Stephenson led the way. Do you know Jan at all?ALISON WHITAKER: I don't know her personally. She was quite prominent in amateur golf she went pro, so a lot of the girls were able to gauge themselves against her before she turned pro.
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.