Schepperle’s 5 Under Par 67 Leads at Halfway Mark of First Day of Stroke Play
“I really didn’t have expectations,” said the sophomore at Auburn, who was the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year. “I went out there to have fun. I didn’t have a goal score or expectations for (Monday). It came out as it did.”
Schepperle, the low individual scorer at the 2005 USGA State Team Championship, had six birdies (five on her last nine holes, Crooked Stick’s first nine) and one bogey.
According to Schepperle, her stroke-play score pales in comparison to the importance of match play.
“Match play is totally different,” said Schepperle, the medalist at the recent North and South Women’s Amateur. “I’ve played mediocre in stroke play and ended up in the semis and quarterfinals in other match-play events. The key is being patient and not focusing on how you finish in stroke play.”
She also credited solid putting, with only one three-putt green on the par-5 11th, for her score. Schepperle followed that bogey with a finishing stretch of six straight pars a birdie and then her 31 on the front nine.
Five players, including a pair of USGA champions – Tiffany Joh, 20, of San Diego, Calif., the 2006 Women’s Public Links champion and newly crowned U.S. Girls’ Junior winner Kristen Park, 14, of Buena Park, Calif. – trailed Schepperle by two strokes at 3-under-par 69.
The others who shot 69 included a trio who played together but didn't know each other and hadn't played together before.
Playing together, Jennifer Ackerson, 23, of Allen, Texas, and 17-year-olds Shanshan Feng of the Peoples Republic of China and Catherine O’Donnell Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., were a combined 9 under par with two eagles and 12 birdies.
“It’s a lot easier to visualize your shot going into the hole when you have two other people hitting it close,” Ackerson said. “We kind of banked off each other.”
Ackerson holed a 7-iron on the par-4 seventh hole for an eagle and O’Donnell eagled the 15th after reaching the par-5 in two shots and sinking a 25-foot putt.
Katherina Schallenberg of Germany, the runner-up in 2006 shot 76 in the morning wave and defending champion Kimberly Kim, 15, of Hilo, Hawaii, had an afternoon starting time.
Story written by Pete Kowalski of USGA media relations. E-mail him with questions or comments at email@example.com.