Curtis Cuppers Highlight Womens Am

By Golf Channel NewsroomAugust 6, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 U.S. WomenThey played together as a team in winning the Curtis Cup earlier in the summer. Now the elite eight ' minus one - join 149 others in individual play in the U.S. Womens Amateur.
 
Fourteen-year-old Curtis Cupper Michelle Wie will command most of the attention, but she will be joined by other Curtis Cuppers Paula Creamer, Liz Janagelo, Brittany Lang, Jane Park, Sarah Huarte and Annie Thurman. Yet another Curtis Cupper, Erica Blasberg, turned professional recently and thus is ineligible.
 
A record 868 contestants entered this years championship. The previous record was 814, set in 2003.
 
Thirty-nine women are exempt into this years event by virtue of their play in past USGA womens events, including the Curtis Cup, U.S. Girls Junior, U.S. Womens Amateur Public Links and U.S. Womens Open. This year's womens am will be played Aug. 9-15 at the Kahkwa Club in Erie, Pa.
 
Representatives of 13 other nations have either qualified or were fully exempt for the U.S. Womens Amateur. The countries represented include Australia; Argentina; Canada; Chinese Taipei; Colombia; Korea; Mexico; Paraguay; the Peoples Republic of China; the Philippines; Spain, Switzerland, Venezuela.
 
The U.S. Womens Amateur is open to female amateurs who have USGA Handicap Indexes not exceeding 5.4. Last years winner, 22-year-old Virada Nirapathpongporn, was one of the foreign-born contingent. The former Duke University student was from Bangkok, Thailand. She defeated 16-year-old Jane Park in the scheduled 36-hole final match, 2 and 1.
 
Nirapathpongporn has turned professional and will not defend her title.
 
Carol Semple Thomson will return again this year, having won this championship 31 years ago in 1973.
 
Several amateurs who were in this year's U.S. Women's Open will compete, including Creamer, Wie, Jennifer Ackerson, Sweden's Niloufar Aazam-Zanganeh , Aimee Cochran, Megan Grehan, Jennie Lee, Taylor Leon, Brittany Lincicome, Tina Miller, In-Bee Park, Jane Park, Kim Shin, and Briana Vega.

Other USGA champions, both past and present, who will play include Amber Marsh Elliot, 2003 Womens Mid-Am champion; Paraguay's Julieta Granada, the 2004 Girls Junior champion, Kathy Hartwiger, 2002 Womens Mid-Am champion;
Canada's Marlene Streit , 2003 USGA Senior Womens Amateur champion; Chinese Taipei's Ya-Ni Tseng, 2004 Womens Amateur Public Links champion; Wie, the 2003 Womens Amateur Public Links champion;; and Sukjin-Lee Wuesthoff; 2003 Girls Junior champion.
 
Elisa Serramia of Spain, the 2003 Ladies British Amateur champion, is also in the field.

The champion receives an exemption from sectional qualifying for U.S. Womens Amateur Championships for the next 10 years; an exemption from sectional qualifying for 10 years to the U.S. Womens Mid-Amateur Championship, an exemption from sectional qualifying for the next 10 U.S. Womens Amateur Public Links Championships, and an exemption from sectional qualifying for the next two U.S. Womens Open Championships. This assumes she is otherwise eligible at each juncture..

Several Womens Amateur champions have recorded three consecutive wins: Glenna Collett Vare, Beatrix Hoyt, Alexa Stirling, Virginia Van Wie, and Juli Simpson Inkster won the Womens Amateur three times consecutively.
 
Genevieve Hecker, Dorothy Campbell, Margaret Curtis, Betty Jameson, Kay Cockerill and Kelli Kuehne won the championship two times in a row.
 
Vare won the Womens Amateur title a record six times. JoAnne Gunderson Carner won the championship five times and won an impressive total of eight USGA Championships (five Womens Amateur titles, two U.S. Womens Opens, and one U.S. Girls Junior).

Other prominent past champions include Patty Berg; Betty Jameson, Babe Didrickson Zaharias, Louise Suggs, Beth Daniel, Pat Hurst, 1990; Grace Park and Dorothy Delasin.

Related links:
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Women's Amateur
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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in four months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014. 

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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."