Becky Lucidi, 21, of Poway, Calif., who never won a golf event learger than
the San Diego City Championship, captured the 102nd United States Women's Amateur
Championship at the 6,190-yard, par-71 course at Sleepy Hollow Country Club.
Lucidi, an honorable mention All-American at Southern California in 2002, defeated
Brandi Jackson, 21, of Belton, S.C., 3 and 2, in the final match. It was only
the fourth time in the last 10 years that two Americans met in the final.
Lucidi said she took a more serious approach to competition after watching
the 2002 U.S. Women's Open on television. Following tradition, the reigning
champions of the Women's Amateur and Women's Open were paired together in the
first two rounds. Lucidi observed that last year's champion, Meredith Duncan,
was paired with Karrie Webb, winner of the 2001 Women's Open.
"I was sitting on the couch with my dad. I thought, "That's pretty
cool, I'd like to do that next summer,'" said Lucidi. "Juli Inkster
(2002 Women's Open Champion) is my favorite player. Just knowing that I get
to play with her next year is enough for me."
Lucidi took a 6-up lead after the first 18 holes of the scheduled 36-hole final
and seemed well on her way to wrapping up the national championship when the
afternoon round began.
Jackson, the 2002 Southern Conference individual champion from Furman, however,
bounced back. She won the 19th, 20th, 25th, and 28th holes to pull within a
two-hole margin, but that was as close as she would come to overtaking Lucidi.
On the par-3 34th hole, Jackson hit a 7-iron, pushing her shot into the right
fringe where it settled 50 feet from the hole. Lucidi then hit her iron shot
to within 18 feet of the hole.
With the match on the line, Jackson made a bogey when she failed to get up
"I knew I probably need to make that putt," said Jackson, who was
an all-Southern Conference selection. "I just hit it a little too hard.
We had trouble reading the greens the last couple of days, for some reason.
I'd be pretty good knowing what a putt was going to do, then kind of just lost
Lucidi, a fifth-year senior-to-be at the University of Southern California,
safely two-putted for a par to win the hole and the championship.
Lucidi defeated Lindsey Wright, 22, of Australia, 3 and 1, in the semifinals,
Jackson defeated Maru Martinez, 18 of Venezuela, on the 19th hole when she holed
a five-foot birdie putt on the first hole played after a weather delay of 1
hour, 54 minutes.
Courtney Swaim, 22, a USA Curtis Cup player from Sugar Hill, Ga., set a record
and swept medalist honors. Swaim shot 67-68-135 for 36 holes, seven under par
and two strokes better than the record of 137 set by Natalie Gulbis in 1999.