Mackenzie Advances, Park Ousted In First Round

 

North Plains, Ore. – Medalist Paige Mackenzie, 23, of Yakima, Wash., advanced to the second round of match play in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship with a 3-and-2 win Wednesday over Leah Wigger of Louisville, Ky., at the 6,380-yard, par-71 Witch Hollow Course of Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.

Jane Park follows her ball out of a greenside bunker on the 16th hole Wednesday. (Steve Gibbons/USGA)

Mackenzie’s USA Curtis Cup teammates didn’t fare as well, as four of the six lost in the first round. Jane Park of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., a two-time USA Curtis Cup player and the 2004 Women’s Amateur champion, was upset by Lauren Espinosa, 19, of Hickory Creek, Texas, 1 up.

The other USA Curtis Cup players who lost were Jenny Suh, 20, of Fairfax, Va., who was defeated by Kristen Svicarovich, 21, the local favorite from Hillsboro, Ore., 4 and 2. Taylor Leon, 19, of Dallas, Texas, lost to Carlota Ciganda, 16, of Spain, 5 and 4. Long-hitting Amanda Blumenherst, 19, of Scottsdale, Ariz., was upset by Mari Chun, 18, of Pearl City, Hawaii, 1 up.

The other remaining USA Curtis Cup player, Jennie Lee, narrowly escaped defeat. Lee, 19, of Huntington Beach, Calif., managed to win on the 19th hole over Joanne Lee, 17, of San Carlos, Calif.

Mackenzie said she and Wigger played “a lot of good golf.” The former University of Washington All-American (she graduated this past spring) said she wants to finish out the championship. “I know I beat everyone in stroke play, so far, so it’s just carrying it forward,” said Mackenzie.

Park came from two holes down to square the match with Espinosa at the 16th hole. Both players parred the 17th. Park missed the green at the par-5 18th and chipped to within four feet of the hole. Espinosa faced an eight-foot birdie putt and rimmed the hole, making her par. Park then missed her short par putt and the match ended. Both players said that Espinosa had a few favorable bounces.

“On the seventh hole, I hit it left off the tee and I knew it was going into the bunker,” said Espinosa. “It must have hit a sprinkler head because it bounced into the middle of the fairway.”

“I was never up in the match,” said Park, who shared low-amateur honors at the 2006 U.S. Women's Open with Amanda Blumenherst and was 3-0-1 at the recently completed Curtis Cup. “I was two holes down at one point and I was trying to get back into it. She was getting these amazing bounces, so it was her day.

“I’ve had a really good amateur career,” added Park, who is eschewing her final three years at UCLA to turn professional. “It’s sad that it has to end this way, but I’ve got my whole life ahead of me.”

Amanda Blumenherst shows a disbelieving face after missing a short birdie putt on the 13th hole. (Steve Gibbons/USGA)

Park tied for 10th at '06 U.S. Women’s Open. She was the runner-up in the 2003 U.S. Women’s Amateur as a 16 year old, and was also the runner-up at the 2004 U.S. Girls’ Junior. She tied for 30th in her first U.S. Women's Open in 2003 when it was played here at Pumpkin Ridge.

Svicarovich, who lives just a 10-minute drive from Pumpkin Ridge, upset the more highly acclaimed Suh. Suh won the Women's North and South Amateur at Pinehurst just prior to the Curtis Cup, but struggled with her game at Pacific Dunes, site of the Curtis Cup Match.

“It’s all golf at the end of the day,” said Svicarovich, a senior-to-be at Vanderbilt University.

Chun was out-driven 50 to 60 yards by Blumenherst, but squeaked out the win on the par-5 18th hole. “I knew she could reach the par 5s in two shots and it would take me three shots,” said Chun. “There were definite chances for her to turn it around on the back nine, so I just kept grinding.”

Blumenherst almost hit the green of the par-5 18th in two shots, but managed to two-putt for birdie from the fringe. Chun hit a miraculous third shot from a difficult lie in the rough some 100 yards from the green to within 10 feet. She twice backed away from her birdie putt, which would win the match. “I knew that I better make it,” said Chun. “I lost the line twice and I had to back off.” After her caddie/mother Lani whispered, “Believe in yourself,” Chun holed the putt to win.

The lone remaining Curtis Cup player from Great Britain and Ireland is Martina Gillen, a 24-year-old Kent State University graduate from Dublin. Gillen defeated Vicky Hurst, 16, of Melbourne, Fla., runner-up in the 2006 U.S. Girls’ Junior, on the 19th hole.

England's Kiran Matharu, Naomi Edwards and Melissa Reid fell to Stacy Lewis (2 and 1) of The Woodlands, Texas, 2005 Women's Amateur semifinalist Alison Whitaker (4 and 3) of Australia and Colombia's Eileen Vargas (19 holes), respectively.

The Women’s Amateur, one of 13 national championships conducted by the United States Golf Association, continues with second- and third-round matches on Thursday. The championship concludes with a scheduled 36-hole final on Sunday.

Story written by Rhonda Glenn, Manager of USGA Communications. E-mail her with questions or comments at rglenn@usga.org.

Results

North Plains, Ore. – Results from the first round of match play Wednesday in the United States Women’s Amateur Championship at the 6,380-yard, par-71 Witch Hollow Course of Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.

Round of 64

Upper Bracket

Paige Mackenzie, Yakima, Wash. (139) def. Leah Wigger, Louisville, Ky. (151), 3 and 2

Jennie Lee, Huntington Beach, Calif. (147) def. Joanne Lee, San Carlos, Calif. (147), 19 holes

Sydnee Michaels, Temecula, Calif. (149) def. Irene Cho, La Habra, Calif. (145), 3 and 2

Alison Walshe, Westford, Mass. (145) def. Kristina Wong, Bradenton, Fla. (149), 6 and 5

Katharina Schallenberg, Germany (143) def. Lauren Johnson, The Woodlands, Texas (150), 5 and 3

Seo-Jae Lee, Korea (146) def. Jessie Vincent, Burlington, N.C. (148), 6 and 5

Cydney Clanton, Concord, N.C. (150) def. Isabelle Lendl, Bradenton, Fla. (144), 19 holes

Esther Choe, Scottsdale, Ariz. (148) def. Christine Song, Fullerton, Calif. (146), 2 up

Ayaka Kaneko, Honolulu, Hawaii (142) def. Jenna Pearson, Wheaton, Ill. (151), 21 holes

Pei-Lin Yu, Chinese Taipei (146) def. Stephanie Kono, Honolulu, Hawaii (147), 5 and 4

Kristen Svicarovich, Hillsboro, Ore. (149) def. Jenny Suh, Fairfax, Va. (145), 4 and 2

Jennifer Osborn, Huntington Beach, Calif. (146) def. Hannah Jun, San Diego, Calif. (148), 1 up

Mi Jung Hur, Korea (142) def. Lara Tennant, Portland, Ore. (151), 6 and 4

Maria Jose Uribe, Colombia (147) def. Jane Rah, Torrance, Calif. (146), 4 and 3

Candace Schepperle, Birmingham, Ala. (145) def. Hunter Ross, Manakin Sabot, Va. (149), 2 and 1

Stacy Lewis, The Woodlands, Texas (148) def. Kiran Matharu, England (146), 2 and 1

Lower Bracket

Tiffany Joh, San Diego, Calif. (141) def. Alice Kim, Beverly Hills, Calif. (151), 4 and 3

Jennie Arseneault, Grinnell, Iowa (147) def. Laura Luethke, Fresno, Calif. (147), 19 holes

Mari Chun, Pearl City, Hawaii (149) def. Amanda Blumenherst, Scottsdale, Ariz. (145), 1 up

Carlota Ciganda, Spain (145) def. Taylor Leon, Dallas, Texas (149), 5 and 4

Ashley Knoll, The Woodlands, Texas (143) def. Maggie Simons, Raleigh, N.C. (150), 4 and 3

Hana Jang, Korea (146) def. Dewi Claire Schreefel, Netherlands (148), 2 and 1

Lindy Duncan, Plantation, Fla. (144) def. Kristie Smith, Australia (150), 7 and 5

Stacey Kim, Columbus, Ga. (148) def. Taylore Karle, Scottsdale, Ariz. (146), 6 and 4

In Kyung Kim, Korea (141) def. Theresa Paik, Silver Spring, Md. (151), 4 and 3

Eileen Vargas, Colombia (147) def. Melissa Reid, England (146), 19 holes

Mina Harigae, Monterey, Calif. (149) def. Lauren Mielbrecht, Gulf Stream, Fla. (145), 1 up

Martina Gillen, Ireland (145) def. Vicky Hurst, Melbourne, Fla. (148), 19 holes

Lauren Espinosa, Hickory Creek, Texas (150) def. Jane Park, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (142), 1 up

Kimberly Kim, Hilo, Hawaii (146) def. Megan Grehan, Mamaroneck, N.Y. (147), 2 and 1

Alison Whitaker, Australia (144) def. Naomi Edwards, England (149), 4 and 3

Margaret Shirley, Roswell, Ga. (148) def. Ya-Ni Tseng, Chinese Taipei (146), 3 and 1

Pairings

North Plains, Ore. – Pairings for the second round of match play Thursday in the United States Women’s Amateur Championship at the 6,380-yard, par-71 Witch Hollow Course of Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.

Round of 32

Upper Bracket

8:00 a.m.            Paige Mackenzie, Yakima, Wash. (139) vs. Jennie Lee, Huntington Beach, Calif. (147)

8:10 a.m.            Sydnee Michaels, Temecula, Calif. (149) vs. Alison Walshe, Westford, Mass. (145)

8:20 a.m.            Katharina Schallenberg, Germany (143) vs. Seo-Jae Lee, Korea (146)

8:30 a.m.            Cydney Clanton, Concord, N.C. (150) vs. Esther Choe, Scottsdale, Ariz. (148)

8:40 a.m.            Ayaka Kaneko, Honolulu, Hawaii (142) vs. Pei-Lin Yu, Chinese Taipei (146)

8:50 a.m.            Kristen Svicarovich, Hillsboro, Ore. (149) vs. Jennifer Osborn, Huntington Beach, Calif. (146)

9:00 a.m.            Mi Jung Hur, Korea (142) vs. Maria Jose Uribe, Colombia (147)

9:10 a.m.            Candace Schepperle, Birmingham, Ala. (145) vs. Stacy Lewis, The Woodlands, Texas (148)

Lower Bracket

9:20 a.m.            Tiffany Joh, San Diego, Calif. (141) vs. Jennie Arseneault, Grinnell, Iowa (147)

9:30 a.m.            Mari Chun, Pearl City, Hawaii (149) vs. Carlota Ciganda, Spain (145)

9:40 a.m.            Ashley Knoll, The Woodlands, Texas (143) vs. Hana Jang, Korea (146)

9:50 a.m.            Lindy Duncan, Plantation, Fla. (144) vs. Stacey Kim, Columbus, Ga. (148)

10:00 a.m.           In Kyung Kim, Korea (141) vs. Eileen Vargas, Colombia (147)

10:10 a.m.           Mina Harigae, Monterey, Calif. (149) vs. Martina Gillen, Ireland (145)

10:20 a.m.           Lauren Espinosa, Hickory Creek, Texas (150) vs. Kimberly Kim, Hilo, Hawaii (146)

10:30 a.m.           Alison Whitaker, Australia (144) vs. Margaret Shirley, Roswell, Ga. (148)

 

 

 

 
Championship Facts

U.S. Women's Amateur

HISTORY: The United States Women’s Amateur is one of the United States Golf Association’s original three championships. It was first conducted in 1895, shortly after the inaugural U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open. The Women’s Amateur has since been conducted every year except 1917-18, when it was temporarily suspended because of World War I, and 1942-45, when it was suspended because of World War II.

PAR & YARDAGE: Yardage for the Witch Hollow course of Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club will be set at 3,325-3,055/3091 – 6,380/6,416, par 71. The par-3 tenth hole can be played from one of two yardages, 158 yards or 194 yards, which accounts for the differing total yardages.

USGA COURSE RATING™ AND SLOPE RATING® — The USGA Course Rating for Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club at 6,380 yards is 79.1; Slope Rating is 148. At 6,416 yards, the Course Rating is 79.3; Slope Rating is 149.

ARCHITECT: The Witch Hollow course at Pumpkin Ridge was designed by golf architect Bob Cupp and opened in 1992.

CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE:

Monday, Aug. 7 – First round, stroke play (18 holes)
Tuesday, Aug. 8 – Second round, stroke play (18 holes). After conclusion of the 36 holes, the field will be cut to the low 64 scorers, who will advance to match play.
Wednesday, Aug. 9 – First round, match play (18 holes)
Thursday, Aug. 10 – Second round, match play (18 holes); Third round, match play (18 holes)
Friday, Aug. 11 – Quarterfinals, match play (18 holes)
Saturday, Aug. 12 – Semifinals, match play (18 holes)
Sunday, Aug. 13 – Final, match play (36 holes)

TELEVISION COVERAGE: Television coverage of the championship begins with the first round of match play on The Golf Channel.

Aug. 9 – First Round 7 - 9 p.m.
Aug. 10 – Second and Third Rounds 7 - 9 p.m.
Aug. 11 – Quarterfinals 7 - 9 p.m.
Aug. 12 – Semifinals 7 - 9 p.m.
Aug. 13 – Final 7 - 9 p.m.

WHO CAN ENTER: The championship is open to female amateurs who have USGA handicap indexes not exceeding 5.4.

ENTRIES: When entries closed June 21, a record 969 contestants had entered the championship. The previous record entry was 873 in 2005.

 

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