Wong, Harigae Lead Early Winners In First Round Of Match Play

Carmel, Ind. – Co-medalist Kristina Wong of Vestal, N.Y., and reigning U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links champion Mina Harigae of Monterey, Calif., led the group of early winners Wednesday in the first round of match play at the 2007 U.S. Women’s Amateur at hot and humid Crooked Stick Golf Club.

Wong, a high school junior-to-be, took a 2-up lead over after three holes and expanded it to 5-up with birdies on the 8th and 9th holes en route to a 5-and-3 win over Kaitlin Drolson of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. She never trailed in the match.

The temperature was expected to reach 97 degrees with the heat index reaching 108.

Mina Harigae, the 2007 Women's Amateur Public Links champion, won her first-round match at Crooked Stick Golf Club. (USGA/Steven Gibbons)

"I drank a bottle of water every two holes,” Wong said. “I just wanted to keep playing hard and keep from getting my guard down.

She was pleased to advance but quickly dispelled any importance to winning the qualifying medal.

"I know I have a long road ahead of me with a tough match (Thursday). I have to get my mindset ready,” Wong said. “It feels good but it doesn’t really matter now because it’s all match play.”

Harigae, 17, who played in the 2007 Women’s Open, dispatched Kristie Smith of Australia, 3 and 2. Harigae, who committed to Duke but will be a high school senior in the fall, jumped out to 4-up lead through four holes. She never trailed, although her lead slipped to just 1 up through nine holes.

"My putting saved me,” Harigae said. “I only hit one solid shot. I’m just glad my putting was there to help me.”

She relied upon the experience she has gained in playing in 16 USGA championships since she was 12 years old beginning at the 2002 Women’s Amateur Public Links,

"I tell myself that I’m a better player than this when I am playing bad,” she said. “And, I have beaten players I wouldn’t have imagined beating. I lost focus when I went only 1 up. I’m getting better at regaining my confidence and my mental stability.”

In other key morning matches, Vicky Hurst of Melbourne, Fla., the 2006 Girls’ Junior runner-up defeated Lisa McCloskey of Montgomery, Texas, 5 and 4; and Maria Uribe of Colombia came back to defeat Lee Lopez of Whittier, Calif., 1 up.

Co-medalist Stacy Lewis, 22, of The Woodlands, Texas, and 2006 champion Kimberly Kim had afternoon starting times.

Story written by Pete Kowalski, USGA media relations manager. E-mail him with questions and comments at pkowalski@usga.org.

 

 

 

 
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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