13-year-olds to battle for Girls Jr Title

By Usga News ServicesJuly 26, 2008, 4:00 pm
USGAWEST HARTFORD, Conn. ' Thirteen-year-olds Karen Chung and Alexis Thompson each won two matches Saturday to advance to Sundays championship final of the 2008 U.S. Girls Junior, being played at the 6,265-yard, par-71 Hartford Golf Club.
Thompson earned a 2-and-1 semifinal victory over 2006 Girls Junior champion Jenny Shin, 15, of Torrance, Calif., while Chung prevailed in a marathon 26-hole affair against Kristina Wong, 17, of Vestal, N.Y.
Chung, playing in her first USGA championship, held a 2-up advantage after 16 holes against Wong, a five-time Girls Junior participant. But Chung three-putted the 17th from 20 feet and hit her approach shot on No. 18 out of bounds. Wong converted her 5-footer for par and the two headed for extra holes.
Despite losing her lead, Chung, who has only been playing golf for three years, didnt panic.
I told myself, its all square and its not over, she said.
After the two bogeyed the first extra hole, both settled down and traded pars on the next six holes. Chung had a golden chance at the 23rd hole, the par-4 fifth, but missed a 4-foot birdie putt. On the 26th hole, the 209-yard par-3 eighth, Wong missed an uphill 4-footer for par to give Chung the win in what was the longest match in Girls Junior history. The previous longest match was 25 holes, during the 1980 championship.
For Chung, not only is the Girls Junior her first USGA championship, it is her first match-play event. She admitted to having low expectations coming into the week at Hartford G.C.
I feel like Im in my dream or something, said Chung, who would be the second-youngest champion in history, after 1999 winner Aree Song Wonglukiet. This is surreal. I didnt even think I would come this far.
Thompson had a much easier time in her match against Shin, winning the second hole with a par. She would never trail, building a 3-up lead after 15 holes and holding on to dash Shins hopes of a second Girls Junior title.
For Thompson, who made headlines a year ago when she became the youngest U.S. Womens Open qualifier in history, there has been no shortage of highlights in USGA events. She also played in the 2008 U.S. Womens Open and reached the quarterfinals of the 2007 U.S. Womens Amateur, but admitted reaching her first USGA final was special.
It means a lot, said the long-hitting Thompson, also hoping to become the second-youngest Girls Junior champ. This is a really big golf tournament for my summer. Im really excited playing in the finals tomorrow.
Despite the recognition her success thus far has brought, Thompson said she didnt feel she had an advantage over the rest of the field.
In all golf tournaments there is pretty hard competition, she said. Nothing is easy in these big events. Not really. I just play the same way with anybody. I just play my normal game.
Shell have that chance Sunday as she and Chung, separated in age by a mere two months and one day, face off for the 60th U.S. Girls Junior title. The 36-hole championship final begins at 8 a.m. EDT.
Related Links:
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    Three of world's top 5 MC; not 60-year-old Langer

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 7:04 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three of the top five players in the world missed the cut at The Open.

    Bernhard Langer did not.

    The 60-year-old, who is in the field via his victory in last year’s Senior Open Championship, shot even-par 71 on Friday. At 2 over through 36 holes, he safely made it under the plus-3 cut line.

    "You know, I've played the Masters [this year], made the cut. I'm here and made the cut. I think it is an accomplishment," he said. "There's a lot of great players in the field, and I've beaten a lot of very good players that are a lot younger than me."

    Langer had three birdies and three bogeys in the second round and said afterwards that he was “fighting myself” with his swing. He’s spent the last few days on the phone with his swing coach, Willy Hoffman, trying to find some comfort.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Despite his score, and his made cut, Langer the perfectionist wasn’t satisfied with the way he went about achieving his results.

    "I wasn't happy with my ball-striking. My putting was good, but I was unlucky. I had like four lip-outs, no lip-ins. That part was good. But the ball-striking, I wasn't really comfortable with my swing," he said. "Just, it's always tough trying stuff in the middle of a round."

    Langer, a two-time Masters champion, has never won The Open. He does, however, have six top-3 finishes in 30 prior starts.

    As for finishing higher than some of the top-ranked players in the world, the World Golf Hall of Famer is taking it in stride.

    "I'm not going to look and say, 'Oh, I beat Justin Rose or beat whatever.' But it just shows it's not easy. When some of the top 10 or top 20 in the world don't make the cut, it just shows that the setup is not easy," Langer said. "So I got the better half of the draw maybe, too, right? It wasn't much fun playing in the rain, I guess, this morning for five hours. I had to practice in the rain, but I think once I teed off, we never used umbrellas. So that was a blessing."

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    Kisner doubles 18, defends not laying up

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 6:42 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It was only fitting that Jean Van de Velde was there working as an on-course reporter on Friday as Kevin Kisner struggled his way up Carnoustie’s 18th fairway.

    Rolling along with a two-stroke lead, Kisner’s 8-iron approach shot from an awkward lie in the rough from 160 yards squirted right and bounced into Barry Burn, the winding creek where Van de Velde’s title chances at the 1999 Open Championship began to erode.

    Unlike Van de Velde, who made a triple bogey-7 and lost The Open in a playoff, Kisner’s double bogey only cost him the solo lead and he still has 36 holes to make his closing miscue a distant memory. That’s probably why the 34-year-old seemed at ease with his plight.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “It just came out like a high flop shot to the right. It was weird. I don't know if it caught something or what happened,” said Kisner, who was tied with Zach Johnson and Zander Lombard at 6 under par. “You never know out of that grass. It was in a different grass than usual. It was wet, green grass instead of the brown grass. So I hadn't really played from that too much.”

    Like most in this week’s field Kisner also understands that rounds on what is widely considered the most difficult major championship venue can quickly unravel even with the most innocent of mistakes.

    “To play 35 holes without a double I thought was pretty good,” he said. “I've kept the ball in play, done everything I wanted to do all the way up into that hole. Just one of those things that came out completely different than we expected. I'll live with that more than chipping out and laying up from 20 feet.”

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    Wind, not rain more a weekend factor at Open

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:39 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – After a half-day of rain in Round 2 of the 147th Open Championship, the weekend offers a much drier forecast.

    Saturday at Carnoustie is projected to be mostly cloudy with a high of 62 degrees and only a 20 percent chance of rain.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Sunday calls for much warmer conditions, with temperatures rising upwards of 73 degrees under mostly cloudy skies.

    Wind might be the only element the players have to factor in over the final 36 holes. While the winds will be relatively calm on Saturday, expected around 10-15 mph, they could increase to 25 mph in the final round.

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    Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

    The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

    The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

    After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

    “I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”