Park Tries to Defend Womens Am


Eighteen-year-old Jane Park is back again, trying to win the U.S. Womens Amateur Championship for a second time. This years Womens Am begins Monday and lasts until Aug. 7. Park has finally had time to believe it when she sees her name on the trophy.
It hasn't sunk in yet, she said when she defeated Amanda McCurdy last year in the finals, and I don't think it will sink in until - I don't know. I don't know when.
But I can't believe I'm a USGA champion. I can't believe I have a title. And being up there with those names, Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Carol Semple-Thompson. It's awesome. I love it.
Park will be playing with the field at Ansley Golf Club, the Settindown Creek Course, in Roswell, Ga. The U.S. Womens Amateur is open to female amateurs who have USGA handicap indexes not exceeding 5.4. The starting field of 156 will include 17-year-old Morgan Pressel of Boca Raton, Fla., who recently requested ' and partially received ' the right to play on the LPGA Tour. Pressel will be allowed to attend LPGA qualifying school this fall.
Park is a USGA-tournament veteran already. She has already played in three USGA finals and will be attempting to repeat in this Womens Amateur final.
Yeah, I'm like Phil Mickelson, said Park after she won last year. I got the monkey off my back, the major monkey or whatever.
Yeah, coming in second twice, I think that's pretty, that's pretty awesome, I think. But coming in first is a whole new thing than coming in second. And to be able to finally break through, it's, I can't even put into words how happy I am. I don't know. I'm just not an emotional girl, it's all inside of me.
Park finished second to Virada Nirapathpongporn in the 2003 Women's Amateur, only 23 days after she finished second to Julieta Granada for the U.S. Junior Girls title. She also is the fourth player in Women's Amateur history to win after losing in the previous year's final match and the first since Cathy Sherk in 1978.
She was a member of the U.S. Curtis Cup team last year which defeated the Great Britain-Ireland team ' the first USA Curtis Cupper to win the Women's Amateur since Kelli Kuehne in 1996.
Park says she always will be remembered now, at a very special tournament.

My name's always going to be on that trophy, she said. I like the tradition. I like the way they treat us here at the golf course and at every USGA tournament. They treat us like we're royalty. And it's just awesome.
Other prominent names to risen to the status of U.S. Womens Amateur champion include Patty Berg, 1938; Betty Jameson, 1939, 1940; Babe Didrickson Zaharias, 1946; Louise Suggs, 1947; Beth Daniel, 1975, 1977; Juli Simpson (Inkster), 1980, 1981, 1982; Pat Hurst, 1990; Kuehne, 1995, 1996; Grace Park, 1998; and Dorothy Delasin, 1999.
Related Links:
  • Scoring - U.S. Women's Amateur