Kim, Jin, Thompson Advance At 2007 U.S. Women's Amateur
Carmel, Ind. – Defending champion Kimberly Kim, 15, of Hilo, Hawaii, and two 12-year-olds, Pearl Jin of San Gabriel, Calif., and Alexis Thompson of Coral Springs, Fla., advanced to the second match-play round of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at the 6,595-yard, par 72 course at Crook Stick Golf Club.
On a brutally hot day where the thermometer reached 97 and the heat index topped 103, Kim eaked out a win against Ayaka Kaneko of Honolulu, Hawaii, 1 up. The match was so tight that neither player led by more than one hole.
Jin and Thompson both won and face each other in Thursday’s third round. They are the youngest players in the 112-year history of the championship to make match play.
Jin raced to a 5-up lead after a front-nine 31 against Ashley Tait, 20, of Littleton, Colo. By the 15th hole, however, Jin’s lead had shrunk to 1 up.
“I tried to shoot even better and I tried a little too hard,” Jin said of losing four holes to Tait on the back nine. Jin finally made a par on the 17th hole to win, 2 and 1.
Jin is four months younger than Thompson. “It feels really good to be the youngest one, but I’m a little bit nervous,” Jin said.
Thompson lost three holes on the front nine, then won them back. On the 525-yard, par-5 fifth, she watched Jensen hit a 230-yard 3-wood second shot to within 10 feet of the hole. Thompson holed a 25-footer for birdie, and again watched as Jensen sank her eagle putt. Jensen took a 1-up lead for the last time and Thompson captured five holes on the back nine, winning 3 and 2.
The Thompson-Jin match will be the only time two 12-year-olds have met in this championship. “It will be interesting, it really will,” said Thompson. “Yeah, that’ll be cool.”
“I’m really excited,” said Jin.
Thompson is the more experienced of the two and last month became the youngest qualifier in U.S. Women’s Open history. Jin, who got her black belt in taekwondo when she was six, will enter the seventh grade in the fall. Thompson is home-schooled.
Kim said of her 1-up win over Kaneko, “was so hard. We both played the best of our games. After nine holes, I thought if I lose this match, it would (still) be a great match.”
Kim and Kaneko were roommates in this summer’s American Junior Golf Association Canon Cup match but had never met in match play.
Mina Harigae, 17, of Monterey, Calif., the 2007 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links champion, defeated Kristie Smith, 19, of Australia, 3 and 2. The co-medalist in qualifying, Kristina Wong, 16, of Vestal, N.Y., eased past Kaitlin Drolson of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., 5 and 3. The other co-medalist, Stacy Lewis, 22, the NCAA Division I champion from The Woodlands, Texas, was upset, 2 and 1, by Margaret Shirley, 21, of Roswell, Ga. Shirley got into the championship as an alternate.
Mallory Blackwelder, 20, of Versailles, Ken., the reigning Women’s Western Amateur champion, survived her match against Becca Huffer of Denver, Colo., 1 up. Amanda Blumenhurst, 20, a 2006 USA Curtis Cup team member from Scottsdale, Ariz., defeated Kristin Ingram, 20, of Pasadena, Calif., on the 19th hole.
The championship will conclude with a 36-hole final on Sunday.
Story written by Rhonda Glenn, manager of communications for the USGA. E-mail her with questions or comments at email@example.com.
Carmel, Ind. -- Results from the first round of match play at the 2007 U.S. Women's Amateur being played at the 6,595-yard, par-72 Crooked Stick Golf Club:
Kristina Wong, Vestal, N.Y. def. Kaitlin Drolson, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. 5 and 3
Vicky Hurst, Melbourne, Fla. def. Lisa McCloskey, Montgomery, Texas 5 and 4
Mina Harigae, Monterey, Calif. def. Kristie Smith, Australia 3 and 2
Rebecca Kim, Tigard, Ore. def. Taylore Karle, Scottsdale, Ariz. 2 and 1
Maria Jose Uribe, Colombia def. Lee Lopez, Whittier, Calif. 1 up
Candace Schepperle, Birmingham, Ala. def. Sydney Burlison, Salinas, Calif. 5 and 3
Sydnee Michaels, Temecula, Calif. def. Jennifer Ackerson, Allen, Texas 20 holes
Emma Jandel, Dayton, Ohio def. Victoria Park, Irvine, Calif. 2 up
Lizette Salas, Azusa, Calif. def. So Yeon Ryu, Korea 2 and 1
Kira Meixner, Canada def. Tiffany Lua, Rowland Heights, Calif. 1 up
Alexis Thompson, Coral Springs, Fla. def. Evan Jensen, Belleair, Fla. 3 and 2
Pearl Jin, San Gabriel, Calif. def. Ashley Tait, Littleton, Colo. 2 and 1
Mi Jung Hur, Korea def. Danielle Kang, Oak Park, Calif. 3 and 1
Ha Na Jang, Korea def. Lindy Duncan, Daytona Beach, Fla. 22 holes
Tiffany Joh, San Diego, Calif. def. Azahara Munoz, Spain 21 holes
Andrea Messer, Largo, Fla. def. Lauren Hunt, Little River, S.C. 27 holes
Margaret Shirley, Roswell, Ga. def. Stacy Lewis, The Woodlands, Texas 2 and 1
Jennie Lee, Henderson, Nev. def. Katharina Schallenberg, Germany 3 and 1
Sara-Maude Juneau, Canada def. Dolores White, Lakeland, Fla. 3 and 2
Jane Rah, Torrance, Calif. def. Courtney Ellenbogen, Blacksburg, Va. 3 and 2
Jenny Suh, Fairfax, Va. def. Amanda Costner, Edmond, Okla. 7 and 6
Amanda Blumenherst, Scottsdale, Ariz. def. Kristin Ingram, Pasadena, Calif. 19 holes
Marci Turner, Tompkinsville, Ky. def. Brianna Do, Lakewood, Calif. 5 and 4
Mallory Blackwelder, Versailles, Ky. def. Becca Huffer, Denver, Colo. 1 up
Jennifer Song, Korea def. Natalie Sheary, West Hartford, Conn. 5 and 4
Michelle Shin, Cape Coral, Fla. def. Mari Chun, Pearl City, Hawaii 1 up
Shanshan Feng, Hilton Head Island, S.C. def. Kylene Pulley, Kokomo, Ind. 3 and 1
Nicole Smith, Riverside, Calif. def. Tamasin Clelland, New Zealand 4 and 3
Rikako Morita, Japan def. Blair Lamb, Flat Rock, N.C. 6 and 4
Kimberly Kim, Hilo, Hawaii def. Ayaka Kaneko, Honolulu, Hawaii 1 up
Alison Walshe, Westford, Mass. def. Katie Miller, Jeannette, Pa. 19 holes
Catherine O'Donnell, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. def. Tanya Wadhwa, McKinney, Texas 5 and 4
Carmel, Ind. -- Pairings and starting times for the second round of match play at the 2007 U.S. Women's Amateur, being played at the 6,595-yard, par-72 Crooked Stick Golf Club:
8:30 am Kristina Wong, Vestal, N.Y. vs. Vicky Hurst, Melbourne, Fla.
8:40 am Mina Harigae, Monterey, Calif. vs. Rebecca Kim, Tigard, Ore.
8:50 am Maria Jose Uribe, Colombia vs. Candace Schepperle, Birmingham, Ala.
9 am Sydnee Michaels, Temecula, Calif. vs. Emma Jandel, Dayton, Ohio
9:10 am Lizette Salas, Azusa, Calif. vs. Kira Meixner, Canada
9:20 am Alexis Thompson, Coral Springs, Fla. vs. Pearl Jin, San Gabriel, Calif.
9:30 am Mi Jung Hur, Korea vs. Ha Na Jang, Korea
9:40 am Tiffany Joh, San Diego, Calif. vs. Andrea Messer, Largo, Fla.
9:50 am Margaret Shirley, Roswell, Ga. vs. Jennie Lee, Henderson, Nev.
10 am Sara-Maude Juneau, Canada vs. Jane Rah, Torrance, Calif.
10:10 am Jenny Suh, Fairfax, Va. vs. Amanda Blumenherst, Scottsdale, Ariz.
10:20 am Marci Turner, Tompkinsville, Ky. vs. Mallory Blackwelder, Versailles, Ky.
10:30 am Jennifer Song, Korea vs. Michelle Shin, Cape Coral, Fla.
10:40 am Shanshan Feng, Hilton Head Island, S.C. vs. Nicole Smith, Riverside, Calif.
10:50 am Rikako Morita, Japan vs. Kimberly Kim, Hilo, Hawaii
11 am Alison Walshe, Westford, Mass. vs. Catherine O'Donnell, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.