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Johnson, Song To Meet In 2009 U.S. Women's Amateur Final

St. Louis, Mo. – Jennifer Song, 19, of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Jennifer Johnson, 18, of La Quinta, Calif., were both victors in Saturday’s semifinals at the 109th U.S. Women’s Amateur at Old Warson Country Club to advance to the championship’s 36-hole final.

Winners Of Multiple USGA Titles In Same Year

Chick Evans (1916 U.S. Open & U.S. Amateur)
Bob Jones (1930 U.S. Open & U.S. Amateur)
Jay Sigel (1983 U.S. Amateur & U.S. Mid-Amateur)
Pearl Sinn (1988 WAPL & U.S. Women's Amateur)
Ryan Moore (2004 U.S. APL & U.S. Amateur)
Colt Knost (2007 U.S. APL & U.S. Amateur)

Song never trailed in her semifinal match against Tiffany Lua, 18, of Rowland Heights, Calif., winning the second and third holes with pars to build an early lead on a hot and breezy day on Old Warson’s par-71, 6,468-yard layout. Song eventually built her lead to 4 up after 12 holes.

Lua, who will be a freshman at UCLA, took advantage of bogeys by Song on the 13th and 14th holes but Song, a sophomore-to-be at the University of Southern California, won No. 15 with a par and closed out Lua a hole later, 3 and 2.

“Today was really tough,” said Song. “Tiffany was playing very solidly. Her shots were very straight to me and it seemed like she would never make any mistakes. So I had to go through all of this emotional, mental and physical stress, like I had to be patient and tell myself that, you know, 'Jennifer, keep doing what you're doing and you'll be fine.' ”

 
  Jennifer Song is one win away from becoming the second female in history to win two USGA titles in the same calendar year. (Steven Gibbons/USGA)

Song, the 2009 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links champion, is trying to become the second female in history to win two USGA championships in the same year. Pearl Sinn won the Women’s Amateur and Women’s Amateur Public Links in 1988. There have also been five male golfers to win two USGA titles in the same year.

“I am so excited,” said Song who also earned low-amateur honors at the U.S. Women’s Open last month. “Being given this chance to play in the finals is just a great honor for me.”

Johnson also got off to a quick start in her semifinal match against 2008 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Alexis Thompson, 14, of Coral Springs, Fla. Johnson won the first and third holes with pars to also build a 2-up lead.

“I just try when I get the opportunity to get up a [hole], I try and take advantage of it, because sometimes the matches are really close, so it's just hard to get a huge lead,” said Johnson, who has yet to trail through five matches at the 2009 championship, a span of 76 holes.

Thompson came back to the square the match after bogeys by Johnson on the fifth and sixth holes, but Johnson again built her lead and held a 3-up advantage after 15 holes. On the par-5 16th, Thompson made a 35-footer for birdie to cut the deficit to 2 down, and she got another back on the par-3 17th when she made a 25-foot birdie putt.

But Thompson’s putter would betray her on No. 18. After Johnson missed her 12-footer par putt, Thompson would have a chance from 10 feet to win the hole and extend the match. Thompson’s try went right and Johnson escaped with a 1-up victory.


“I ended up not making the one that I needed to make,” said Thompson, who was trying to become the youngest Women’s Amateur winner in history and the seventh to claim both the Girls’ Junior and Women’s Amateur titles.

Johnson, an incoming freshman at Arizona State University, has experience playing in a 36-hole final. She won the 2008 California State Women’s Amateur, 5 and 3. She knows she’ll have to be patient against Song.

“It’s just really exciting,” said Johnson of advancing to the final. “I just can’t believe it. You know, tomorrow is going to be a long day and there’s a lot of golf, so I’ve just got to be patient and not think about the outcome so much, because that can get in the way.”

The U.S. Women’s Amateur is one of 13 championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 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 semifinal round of match play Saturday at the 2009 U.S. Women’s Amateur being conducted at the 6,468-yard, par-71 Old Warson Country Club:

Semifinals
Upper Bracket
Jennifer Johnson, La Quinta, Calif. (147) def. Alexis Thompson, Coral Springs, Fla. (150), 1 up

Lower Bracket
Jennifer Song, Ann Arbor, Mich. (146) def. Tiffany Lua, Rowland Heights, Calif. (142), 3 and 2


St. Louis – Pairing and starting times for the 36-hole championship final Sunday at the 2009 U.S. Women’s Amateur being conducted at the 6,468-yard, par-71 Old Warson Country Club (Times CDT):

Championship Final


7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.          
Jennifer Johnson, La Quinta, Calif. (147) vs. Jennifer Song, Ann Arbor, Mich. (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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