Pressel Campbell Kim Highlight USGA Season

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USGAFar Hills, N.J. ' Morgan Pressel of Boca Raton, Fla., capped off a brilliant summer of competitive golf when she defeated Maru Martinez of Venezuela, 10 and 8, in the championship match of the 2005 U.S. Womens Amateur at Ansley Golf Clubs Settindown Creek Course in Roswell, Ga. Pressels victory highlighted just one of the 13 national championships conducted by the USGA in 2005.

Pressel finished her week in the Atlanta suburb the equivalent of 36 under par, with the usual concessions for match play.

Its my biggest win, said Pressel. Im proud of myself for how I played and how I handled myself through the week. I just kept waiting and it all came together this weekIt just means so much to me to have played this well.

Morgan Pressel
Morgan Pressel turned her U.S. Open disappointment into a Women's Amateur title.
Two months earlier at Cherry Hills Country Club outside of Denver, Colo., the 17-year-old, who in 2001 at age 12 became the youngest qualifier for the U.S. Womens Open, nearly became the second amateur to ever win that championship only to see Koreas Birdie Kim snatch the trophy away by holing a miraculous bunker shot at the 72nd hole. Pressel witnessed this feat while standing in the fairway preparing to play her approach shot to the par-4 18th. Kim posted a final-round, 1-over-par 72 to finish the championship at 3-over 287, two strokes in front of Pressel and another amateur, 19-year Brittany Lang of McKinney, Texas.

Kim, as it turned out, was not the only Korean female to enjoy USGA championship success in 2005. At the U.S. Womens Amateur Public Links Championship, 17-year-old Eun Jung Lee overcame a five-hole deficit in the second 18 of the 36-hole final at Swope Memorial Golf Course in Kansas City, Mo., to defeat Tiffany Chudy of Miramar, Fla., in 37 holes, the first time a WAPL final had been decided in extra holes.

A week later at BanBury Golf Club in Eagle, Idaho, 17-year-old In-Kyung Kim defeated fellow 17-year-old countrywoman In-Bee Park, 5 and 4, to win the U.S. Girls Junior title. This was the third Girls final for Park, who won the title in 2002 at Echo Lake Country Club and was the runner-up to Sukjin-Lee Wuesthoff in 2003 at Brooklawn Country Club. Kim was competing in her first Girls Junior.

Another international player walked away with the U.S. Open title as Michael Campbell of New Zealand held off a hard-charging Tiger Woods at Pinehurst (N.C.) Resorts No. 2 Course by two strokes. Campbell, who shot a final-round 69 (one under) to post a 72-hole total of even-par 280, became the first sectional qualifier to win the U.S. Open since Steve Jones in 1996. Campbell is only the second Kiwi to win a major, joining left-hander Bob Charles, who won the 1963 British Open.

Woods started the final round six strokes behind third-round leader and defending champion Retief Goosen (shot 81 in final round), but with birdies at 10,11 and 15 he moved within two shots of Campbell. But he bogeyed 16 and 17, costing himself a chance at a third Open title.

A big comeback was the story at the U.S. Senior Open at NCR Country Club outside of Dayton, Ohio, in late July. Former USA Walker Cupper Allen Doyle of LaGrange, Ga., came virtually out of nowhere on Sunday, shooting a sizzling 8-under 63 (10-under 274 total) to claim the championship by one stroke over Loren Roberts and D.A. Weibring. Doyles final-round was ignited by a 15-foot chip-in at the first hole. He finished with just 25 putts on the day. Third-round leader Craig Stadler appeared to be in control until a double-bogey at the ninth started a freefall that saw the 1973 U.S. Amateur champion shot an uncharacteristic 5-over 40 on the back nine. Weibring could have forced a playoff with Doyle, but missed a 10-foot par putt at 18.

Italy has not produced a lot of golf champions, but it can boast proudly over 2005 U.S. Amateur winner Edoardo Molinari, an engineering student from Turin. Molinari holed out a bunker shot on his final hole of stroke-play qualifying just to get into a playoff for one of the final match-play spots, then used his good fortune to post six consecutive victories, the last coming in the 36-hole final against Dillon Dougherty of Woodland, Calif., 4 and 3, at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. Molinari became a birdie machine in the afternoon 18, rolling in four from 25 feet or longer and requiring just 18 putts to close out the match at the 15th hole. Molinari is the second Italian to win a USGA title, joining 1997 U.S. Womens Amateur champion Silvia Cavalleri, who is now on the LPGA Tour.

A former major champions son claimed the U.S. Junior Amateur title at Longmeadow (Mass.) Country Club. Kevin Tway of Edmond Okla., who turned 17 on the day of the first-ever 36-hole championship final and the son of 1986 PGA Championship winner Bob Tway, defeated Bradley Johnson, 16, of Birmingham, Ala., 4 and 3. Tway was able to accomplish something his father has yet to achieve: win a USGA title. The elder Tway competed in two U.S. Juniors, but never made it past the first round of match play.

Clay Ogden
Clay Ogden knocked out Michelle Wie on his way to victory at the U.S. Amateur Public Links.
Clay Ogden, 20, of West Point, Utah, was not the feature attraction at the outset of the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at Shaker Run Golf Club in Lebanon, Ohio, but his 5-and-4 defeat of 15-year-old Michelle Wie of Honolulu, Hawaii, the first female to qualify for a USGA mens championship, in the quarterfinals thrust him into the national and international spotlight. Ogden continued his confidence into the 36-hole final against Martin Ureta of Chile. Ogden rallied from an early four-hole deficit, eventually taking the lead for good with a birdie at the 34th hole to earn a 1-up victory.

Jamaican-born Diane Lang, 50, of Weston, Fla., denied the decorated Carol Semple Thompson of Sewickley, Pa., a fifth USGA Senior Womens Amateur title when she defeated the seven-time USGA champion, 1 up, in the final at the Apawamis Club in Rye, N.Y. Thompson was playing in her 102nd USGA event, while this was Langs second.

Mike Rice, 65, of Houston, Texas, overcame a nagging shoulder injury sustained in his quarterfinal win to defeat reigning USGA Senior Amateur champion Mark Bemowski of Mukwonago, Wis., in the championship match, 1 up, at The Farm Golf Club in Rocky Face, Ga. Rice became the oldest Senior Amateur champion in 18 years (John Richards, the father of two-time Senior Amateur winner Kemp Richardson, was 66 when he won in 1987).

Kevin Marsh, 32 of Las Vegas, Nev., used a 64 in the second round of stroke-play qualifying to jumpstart his game at the U.S. Mid-Amateur held at The Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tenn. Marsh defeated two Mid-Amateur champions (Ken Bakst and Austin Eaton III) en route to the 36-hole final, where he blitzed 29-year-old Carlton Forrester of Birmingham, Ala., 10 and 9.

At the U.S. Womens Mid-Amateur at Shadow Hawk Golf Club in Richmond, Texas, Mary Ann Lapointe, 45, of Canada outlasted stroke-play medalist Kerry Postillion of Burr Ridge, Ill., 1 up. It was the second time the 42-year-old Postillion had been the runner-up at this championship. Meanwhile, Lapointe became the first foreign-born winner of the Womens Mid-Amateur and the sixth foreign-born USGA champion of 2005.

Although not a national championship, the biennial Walker Cup Match between mens amateur teams from the United States of America and Great Britain and Ireland held in mid-August at Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Ill., turned into one of the most dramatic in the history of the event. The USA regained the Cup for the first time since 1997, 12-11, but not before GB&I nearly took the trophy for a fourth consecutive Match. GB&I collected birdies at the 18th hole in three consecutive singles matches to earn two halves and one full point to keep its hopes alive. But Jeff Overton of the USA two-putted from 18 feet at the 18th hole moments after Nigel Edwards just missed a long birdie try to preserve a 1-up victory and the final point needed by the USA side.
 
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