Thurman Wins Womens Public Links Title


SUNRIVER, Ore. -- Annie Thurman of Highland, Utah, posted a commanding 6 and 5 victory over Hwanhee Lee of Cerritos, Cal., Sunday at the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship at the Sunriver Resort.
'It hasn't hit me yet,' said Thurman, who became the first woman from Utah to win a USGA championship. 'I'm tired but the thought of it is awesome. You watch so many United States Golf Association championships or read about them, but going from event to event, you want that trophy in the end.'
The 19-year-old Thurman took a 5-up lead after 18 holes of the first scheduled 36-hole match in the championship's history. She matched pars with Lee over the first four holes of the afternoon 18 but saw her lead cut to 4-up after she sculled a bunker shot en route to a triple-bogey seven at the 23rd hole.
With some momentum on her side, Lee, 19, safely found the fairway off the 24th tee then knocked her approach to 35 feet. Thurman, meanwhile, drove into the rough and was forced to play her second shot out to the fairway.
Just when it looked as if Lee would trim her deficit to 3-down, Thurman hit her third to eight feet and made the putt to save par. Lee rolled her long birdie try five feet past the cup and missed the par putt on the comeback to lose the hole, leaving her 5-down with 12 holes remaining.
'It was a huge turning point of the match,' said Thurman.
Thurman took a 6-up lead when Lee bogeyed the 27th hole. Lee birdied the par- five 28th hole but gave a hole right back with a bogey at the 29th. The match ended after the pair traded pars on the next two holes.
Thurman proved that par is still a good score, especially in match play. She collected one birdie, two bogeys, the one triple-bogey and 27 pars during the 31 holes of the championship tilt. Lee tallied two birdies, 10 bogeys and 19 pars in the final.
The event was played on the 6,189-yard par-71 Meadows Course at the Sunriver Resort.
Thurman overcame an early deficit to defeat Yvonne Choe, 19, of Temple City, California, 2 and 1, in Saturday's semifinals. Lee was a 3 and 2 winner over gallery favorite Michelle Wie of Honolulu, Hawaii, who at just 12 years old was the youngest semifinalist in the history of any women's amateur championship conducted by the USGA.
The U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links, one of 13 championships staged by the USGA (10 of which are strictly for amateurs), is open to women amateur golfers who have been bona fide public course players and have not held privileges at a private club.