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Kelli Kuehne

Kelli Kuehne of McKinney, Texas, joined JoAnne Carner as the only other player to follow a victory in the Girls' Junior one year with a Women's Amateur title the next by defeating Australia's Anne Marie Knight in the 36-hole final match by a 4-and 3-margin.

The Country Club, located in Brookline, Mass., and one of the USGA's founding clubs, served as the host site this year.

Kuehne started her collegiate career last fall at the University of Texas. The 24-year-old Knight, meanwhile, had quit her job in Adelaide to take a 10-week vacation in the U.S. that would allow her to test her game against the top women amateurs in the world.

The first 18 holes of the final match were closely contested. The players alternated the last seven holes of the morning, with Kuehne holding a 1-up lead at lunch.

It stood that way until the 21st hole, when Knight hit a perfect drive into the heart of the fairway while Kuehne pushed her tee shot far right. The ball finally came to rest some 40 yards above the sloping fairway, just a few paces from the adjacent seventh green. A stand of trees seemingly blocked any kind of direct path back toward the third green.

But Kuehne opted to gamble and used her favorite club, a 6-iron, to send her ball whistling through the branches back to the fairway, only 77 yards from the hole. She proceeded to hit her approach to nine feet and make her birdie putt, somehow winning the hole for a 2-up lead.

Knight managed to trim the margin at the 26th hole, but Kuehne won the next two holes to take a commanding lead and emerge victorious.

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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