Thompson, 12, Makes Quarterfinals At U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship

Carmel, Ind. – Twelve-year-old Alexis Thompson of Coral Springs, Fla., won two matches Thursday to become the youngest quarterfinalist in the 106-year history of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at the 6,580-yard, par-72 Crooked Stick Golf Club.

Thompson defeated Lizette Salas, 18, of Azusa, Calif., in the afternoon’s third-round match, 5 and 4, to advance to Friday’s quarterfinal round.  In the morning, she defeated the championship’s other 12-year-old, Pearl Jin of San Gabriel, Calif., 5 and 4.  Thompson was four under par in the morning match and two under par in the afternoon, with the usual match-play concessions.

“Definitely, I’m really happy with the way I’m hitting it right now,” said Thompson.  “I’m just really happy I made it this far.”

Jennie Lee gets to face fellow 2006 USA Curtis Cupper Amanda Blumenherst in Friday's quarterfinals at the Women's Amateur. (Steven Gibbons/USGA)

Amanda Blumenhurst, 20, of Scottsdale, Ariz., who also advanced to the quarterfinals, was stunned by Thompson’s achievement.  “I have a 12-year-old sister and I can’t imagine her playing in the state championship, let alone the Women’s Amateur,” Blumenhurst said.  “I think it’s great.”

Another quarterfinalist, Mina Harigae, 17, of Monterey, Calif., said, “I feel old. I see 12-year-olds everywhere.”

Thompson faces Ha Na Jang, 15, of Korea in the quarterfinals.

Blumenhurst, a member of the winning 2006 USA Curtis Cup team, defeated Marci Turner, 21, of Tompkinsville, Ky., 6 and 5, in the third round.  She faces Jennie Lee, 20, of Henderson, Nev., her teammate at Duke University.

“Jennie and I play together three times a week,” Blumenhurst said.  “You just have to play the course. I have a lot of friends in this championship and it’s another aspect of match play you have to face.”

Harigae, the 2007 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links champion, defeated Vicky Hurst, 17, of Melbourne, Fla., in the third round, 1 up.  She won the match with a four-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th hole.

“I can’t believe I pulled it off,” Harigae said.  “I hit a 7-iron and it had a nice fade to four feet. That’s going down in my history book.”

Harigae faces Maria Uribe, 17, of Columbia in the quarterfinals.  While she has never played against Uribe, she knows her.  “She’s passionate,” said Harigae.  “She’s like me.  We’re very emotional.”

Uribe defeated Emma Jandel, 19, of Dayton, Ohio, 1 up.

Defending champion Kimberly Kim, 15, of Hilo, Hawaii, survived a tough second-round match against Japanese star Rikako Morita, 17.  Morita was 1 up going into the 18th hole when she hit her tee shot into a water hazard.  Kim hit her drive deep into the left rough, about three feet from going out of bounds, then laced a 196-yard 4-iron shot to within 25 feet of the hole.  She squared the match with a par 4 to Morita’s 5, then won on the 20th hole when she made a 6-foot birdie putt.

“That was so cool,” said Kim of her approach shot.  “That was amazing. I wasn’t aiming for the green. I was aiming left and pushed it.”

Morita plans to turn professional if she qualifies for the Japan LPGA tour in October.

In the third round, Kim defeated Alison Walshe, 22, of Westford, Mass., 4 and 3.  “My competitor was not easier,” Kim said, “but I played better my last nine.”

Of her role as the defending champion Kim said: “This year it’s harder.  My first match was so hard, it was like the finals.  My comfort level is never high. I never want to be a cocky person. I don’t want to be a cocky golfer because golf will show you.”

Kim faces Jennifer Song, 17, of Korea in Friday’s quarterfinal round.  The Women’s Amateur concludes with a 36-hole final on Sunday.

Story written by Rhonda Glenn, manager of communications for the USGA. E-mail her with comments or questions at rglenn@usga.org.

Carmel, Ind. – Results of Thursday’s second and third rounds of match play at the 2007 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship played at the 6,580-yard, par-72 Crooked Stick Golf Club:

Second Round

Upper Bracket

Vicky Hurst, Melbourne, Fla.  def. Kristina Wong, Vestal, N.Y., 5 and 4

Mina Harigae, Monterey, Calif.  def. Rebecca Kim, Tigard, Ore., 4 and 3

Maria Jose Uribe, Colombia def. Candace Schepperle, Birmingham, Ala., 2 and 1

Emma Jandel, Dayton, Ohio def. Sydnee Michaels, Temecula, Calif., 21 holes

Lizette Salas, Azusa, Calif.  def. Kira Meixner, Canada, 19 holes

Alexis Thompson, Coral Springs, Fla.  def. Pearl Jin, San Gabriel, Calif., 5 and 4

Ha Na Jang, Korea  def. Mi Jung Hur, Korea, 6 and 5

Tiffany Joh, San Diego, Calif.  def. Andrea Messer, Largo, Fla., 6 and 5

Lower Bracket

Jennie Lee, Henderson, Nev. def. Margaret Shirley, Roswell, Ga., 3 and 1

Sara-Maude Juneau, Canada def. Jane Rah, Torrance, Calif., 1 up

Amanda Blumenherst, Scottsdale, Ariz  def. Jenny Suh, Fairfax, Va., 5 and 4

Marci Turner, Tompkinsville, Ky.  def. Mallory Blackwelder, Versailles, Ky., 1 up

Jennifer Song, Korea def. Michelle Shin, Cape Coral, Fla., 1 up

Nicole Smith, Riverside, Calif. def. Shanshan Feng, Hilton Head Island, S.C., 1 up

Kimberly Kim, Hilo, Hawaii def. Rikako Morita, Japan, 20 holes

Alison Walshe, Westford, Mass. def. Catherine O'Donnell, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., 6 and 5

Third Round

Upper Bracket

Harigae def. Hurst, 1 up

Uribe def. Jandel, 2 up

Thompson def. Salas, 5 and 4

Jang def. Joh, 20 holes

Lower Bracket

Lee def. Juneau, 6 and 5

Blumenherst def. Turner, 6 and 5

Song def. Smith, 2 up

Kim def. Walshe, 4 and 3

Carmel, Ind. – Pairings for Friday’s quarterfinal round of match play at the 2007 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship played at the 6,580-yard, par-72 Crooked Stick Golf Club (all times Eastern):

Quarterfinal Round

Upper Bracket

1 p.m. – Mina Harigae, Monterey, Calif.  vs. Maria Jose Uribe, Colombia

1:10 p.m. – Alexis Thompson, Coral Springs, Fla.  vs. Ha Na Jang, Korea

Lower Bracket

1:20 p.m. – Jennie Lee, Henderson, Nev.  vs. Amanda Blumenherst, Scottsdale, Ariz.

1:30 p.m. – Jennifer Song, Korea  vs. Kimberly Kim, Hilo, Hawaii

 

 

 

 

 
Championship Facts

U.S. Women's Amateur

HISTORY:The U.S. 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 Crooked Stick Golf Club will be set at 6,595 yards, par 72.

ARCHITECT: Opened in 1964, the course was designed by Pete Dye. Crooked Stick is hosting its fifth USGA championship. It also hosted the 1991 PGA Championship, won by John Daly, and the 2005 Solheim Cup Matches.

COURSE SETUP
Fairways – Cut to ½ inch
Tees and collars of greens – Cut to 3/8 inch
Putting greens – Prepared to be firm and fast to measure approximately 10 ½ to 11 feet on the USGA Stimpmeter
Intermediate rough – Cut to 1 ½ inches, approximately 6 feet wide along fairways
Primary rough – Cut to 2 ½ to 3 inches
Player courtesy walks – Cut to 1 ½ inches, approximately 6 feet wide
The Championship setup will result in a new USGA Course Rating ™ of 78.8 and a Slope Rating ® of 143.

FORMAT: The Women’s Amateur is conducted with 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying. The low 64 scorers then advance to match play, with the champion determined by a 36-hole match-play final

CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE:

  • Monday, Aug. 6 – First round, stroke play (18 holes)
  • Tuesday, Aug. 7 – 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. 8 – First round, match play (18 holes)
  • Thursday, Aug. 9 – Second round, match play (18 holes). Third round, match play (18 holes)
  • Friday, Aug. 10 – Quarterfinals, match play (18 holes)
  • Saturday, Aug. 11 – Semifinals, match play (18 holes)
  • Sunday, Aug. 12 – Final, match play (36 holes)

 

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