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Lewis Ousts Stroke-Play Medalist Kang In First Round At U.S. Women's Amateur

St. Louis, Mo. – Amelia Lewis, 18, of Jacksonville, Fla., needed to survive a two-hole playoff just to make it to match play at the U.S. Women’s Amateur. During Wednesday’s first round at the par-71, 6,468-yard Old Warson Country Club she made the most of the opportunity, ousting stroke-play medalist Danielle Kang of Thousand Oaks, Calif., 2 and 1.

“God gave me a second chance with a playoff yesterday, so I am going to try to make the most of it this week,” said Lewis.

Lewis, who will be a freshman at the University of Florida this fall, birdied the first two holes to take the early lead. Kang won four of the next five holes to turn the deficit into a two-hole advantage. But Lewis came right back to win the eighth and ninth holes to square the match.

“After the eighth hole and I was only one back and then I made the birdie on nine, I knew it was going to be very close on the back side,” said Lewis, who won the North and South Women’s Amateur on July 18 at Pinehurst.

 
Cydney Clanton ousted newly minted U.S. Girls' Junior champion Amy Anderson on Wednesday. (Steven Gibbons/USGA)  

The two players halved the next five holes. On the par-4 15th, Lewis made a 4-footer for par to take a 1-up lead. After both players birdied No. 16, Kang hit her tee shot on the par-3 17th into a greenside bunker and eventually made triple bogey. Lewis two-putted from 15 feet to end the match.

“She played really well today,” said the 16-year-old Kang. “It was a good match. She did better than she did in stroke play.”

Also having an easier time in match play Wednesday was 2008 U.S. Girls’ Junior winner Alexis Thompson, 14, of Coral Springs, Fla. Thompson had little trouble in her first-round match against Sun Gyoung Park, 17, of Vail, Ariz., en route to a 7-and-6 victory.

After struggling in the two rounds of stroke play, with rounds of 76 and 74, Thompson was the equivalent of two under par, with match-play concessions, against Park.

“I drove the ball well today and I just hit it a lot better,” said Thompson, who admitted she wasn’t sure her stroke-play scores would be good enough to advance. “I was just thankful that I made it to match play.”

Jennifer Song of Ann Arbor, Mich., who won the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links in June and earned low-amateur honors at the Women’s Open the following month, also advanced with a 3-and-1 win over Megan McChrystal of Stuart, Fla. Song, 19, is trying to join Pearl Sinn as the only players to win the WAPL and Women’s Amateur in the same year.

Amy Anderson’s hopes of becoming the first in history to win the Girls’ Junior and the Women’s Amateur in the same year were dashed when she dropped a 3-and-2 decision to Cydney Clanton, 20, of Rockwell, N.C., in Wednesday’s first round. Anderson, 17, of Oxbow, N.D., who won the Girls’ Junior at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., last month, fell behind to Clanton early and couldn’t recover from a five-hole deficit.

Also ousted was 2006 Women’s Amateur champion Kimberly Kim, 17, of Hilo, Hawaii, who lost a 5-and-3 decision to Maude-Aimee LeBlanc, 20, of Canada. For LeBlanc, success on the greens was the key against Kim.

“For the last two days I didn’t make any long putts, over 6 feet,” said LeBlanc, a sophomore-to-be at Purdue University who earned a share of individual medalist honors at the Big 10 Championship last spring. “But today I did and it really helped me a lot.”

LeBlanc, exempt into the field by virtue of her top-eight individual finish at the 2008 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship, knew she would have her work cut out for her against the accomplished Kim, who had already played in two USGA championship finals and the U.S. Women’s Open this year.

“I just tried to stay confident, and tried not to be intimidated by her,” said LeBlanc. “But she’s a long hitter so that didn’t work.”

The 2009 U.S. Women’s Amateur continues with the second and third rounds Thursday. The quarterfinal matches will be played Friday, the semifinal matches are on Saturday, and the 36-hole championship final will be played Sunday.

The U.S. Women’s Amateur is one of 13 championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association each year, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

Story written by Beth Murrison, manager of communications for the USGA. E-mail her with questions or comments at bmurrison@usga.org.


St. Louis – Results from the first round of match play Wednesday at the 2009 U.S. Women’s Amateur being conducted at the 6,468-yard, par-71 Old Warson Country Club (All times CDT):

Round of 64

Upper Bracket

Amelia Lewis, Jacksonville, Fla. (151) def. Danielle Kang, Thousand Oaks, Calif. (138), 2 and 1

Jennifer Johnson, La Quinta, Calif. (147) def. Calle Nielson, Nashville, Tenn. (147), 7 and 6

Sydnee Michaels, Temecula, Calif. (149) def. Grace Na, Oakland, Calif. (145), 6 and 5

Whitney Neuhauser, Charlottesville, Va. (145) def. Esther Lee, Los Alamitos, Calif. (149), 1 up

Maude-Aimee Leblanc, Canada (150) def. Kimberly Kim, Hilo, Hawaii (143), 5 and 3

Stacey Keating, Australia (146) def. Kristen Park, Buena Park, Calif. (148), 5 and 4

Molly Aronsson, Shelburne, Vt. (150) def. Ha Na Jang, Korea (143), 1 up

Candace Schepperle, Birmingham, Ala. (148) def. Cheyenne Woods, Phoenix, Ariz. (146), 2 and 1

Alexis Thompson, Coral Springs, Fla. (150) def. Sun Gyoung Park, Vail, Ariz. (140), 7 and 6

Jodi Ewart, England (148) def. Mallory Fraiche, Metairie, La. (147), 25 holes

Leanne Bowditch, Australia (149) def. Sara-Maude Juneau, Canada (143), 2 and 1

Cyna Marie Rodriguez, Philippines (148) def. Kristen Simpson, Norfolk, Va. (146), 19 holes

Lindy Duncan, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (141) def. Lee Lopez, Whittier, Calif. (150), 2 and 1

Taylore Karle, Scottsdale, Ariz. (147) def. Kendra Little, Eugene, Ore. (148), 25 holes

Victoria Tanco, Argentina (143) def. Dori Carter, Valdosta, Ga. (150), 5 and 4

Han Jungeun, Korea (146) def. Kate Ackerson, Allen, Texas (148), 1 up

Lower Bracket

Jessica Korda, Bradenton, Fla. (139) def. Sara Grantham, Wilsonville, Ala. (150), 1 up

Aimee Neff, Carmel, Ind. (147) def. Sally Watson, Scotland (147), 2 and 1

Erynne Lee, Silverdale, Wash. (144) def. Cassy Isagawa, Wailuku, Hawaii (149), 4 and 2

Natalie Sheary, West Hartford, Conn. (149) def. Alice Kim, Walnut, Calif. (145), 3 and 2

Tiffany Lua, Rowland Heights, Calif. (142) def. Jenny Shin, Torrance, Calif. (150), 4 and 3

Brooke Beeler, Butler, Ill. (148) def. Julia Boland, Australia (146), 3 and 1

Michelle Shin, Cape Coral, Fla. (143) def. Stephanie Meadow, Northern Ireland (150), 3 and 2

Caroline Masson, Germany (146) def. Kelli Shean, South Africa (148), 1 up

Stephanie Sherlock, Canada (150) def. Marina Alex, Wayne, N.J. (139), 2 up

Stephanie Kono, Honolulu, Hawaii (147) def. Alexandra Stewart, Peoria, Ariz. (147), 7 and 6

Mariko Tumangan, San Jose, Calif. (144) def. Ashleigh Albrecht, Murrieta, Calif. (149), 3 and 2

Allie White, Lancaster, Ohio (149) def. Junthima Gulyanamitta, Thailand (145), 2 up

Lizette Salas, Azusa, Calif. (142) def. Evan Jensen, Belleair, Fla. (150), 3 and 1

Jennifer Song, Ann Arbor, Mich. (146) def. Megan McChrystal, Stuart, Fla. (148), 3 and 1

Cydney Clanton, Concord, N.C. (150) def. Amy Anderson, Oxbow, N.D. (143), 3 and 2

Nannette Hill, Pelham Manor, N.Y. (146) def. Emilie Burger, Hoschton, Ga. (148), 2 and 1

St. Louis – Pairings and starting times for the second round of match play Thursday at the 2009 U.S. Women’s Amateur being conducted at the 6,468-yard, par-71 Old Warson Country Club (All times CDT):

Round of 32

Upper Bracket

7:30 a.m.          Amelia Lewis, Jacksonville, Fla. (151) vs. Jennifer Johnson, La Quinta, Calif. (147)

7:40 a.m.          Sydnee Michaels, Temecula, Calif. (149) vs. Whitney Neuhauser, Charlottesville, Va. (145)

7:50 a.m.          Maude-Aimee Leblanc, Canada (150) vs. Stacey Keating, Australia (146)

8:00 a.m.          Molly Aronsson, Shelburne, Vt. (150) vs. Candace Schepperle, Birmingham, Ala. (148)

8:10 a.m.          Alexis Thompson, Coral Springs, Fla. (150) vs. Jodi Ewart, England (148)

8:20 a.m.          Leanne Bowditch, Australia (149) vs. Cyna Marie Rodriguez, Philippines (148)

8:30 a.m.          Lindy Duncan, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (141) vs. Taylore Karle, Scottsdale, Ariz. (147)

8:40 a.m.          Victoria Tanco, Argentina (143) vs. Han Jungeun, Korea (146)

Lower Bracket

8:50 a.m.          Jessica Korda, Bradenton, Fla. (139) vs. Aimee Neff, Carmel, Ind. (147)

9:00 a.m.          Erynne Lee, Silverdale, Wash. (144) vs. Natalie Sheary, West Hartford, Conn. (149)

9:10 a.m.          Tiffany Lua, Rowland Heights, Calif. (142) vs. Brooke Beeler, Butler, Ill. (148)

9:20 a.m.          Michelle Shin, Cape Coral, Fla. (143) vs. Caroline Masson, Germany (146)

9:30 a.m.          Stephanie Sherlock, Canada (150) vs. Stephanie Kono, Honolulu, Hawaii (147)

9:40 a.m.          Mariko Tumangan, San Jose, Calif. (144) vs. Allie White, Lancaster, Ohio (149)

9:50 a.m.          Lizette Salas, Azusa, Calif. (142) vs. Jennifer Song, Ann Arbor, Mich. (146)

10:00 a.m.         Cydney Clanton, Concord, N.C. (150) vs. Nannette Hill, Pelham Manor, N.Y. (146)

 

 

 
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: Old Warson Country Club will play at 6,422/6,468 yards and par of 35-36—71.

ARCHITECT: Old Warson Country Club was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and opened in 1954.

COURSE SET-UP –The USGA Course Rating® for the Women’s Amateur Championship at Old Warson Country Club is 78.1 and USGA Slope Rating® is 140.

Tees and fairways, height of grass – 7/16 inch

Collars, height of grass – 0.2 inch

Putting greens, speed – 11.5-12 feet on USGA Stimpmeter

Intermediate Rough – 1.25 inches (3 feet width)

Primary Rough – 3 inches

FORMAT: The U.S. 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.

WHO CAN PLAY: The U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship is open to female amateurs who have a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 5.4.

ENTRIES: A total of 955 contestants entered the 2009 championship. The record of 969 was set in 2006.

 

 
 

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