Bandon, Ore. – Annie Park, of Levittown, N.Y., defeated stroke-play medalist Cheyenne Woods, of Phoenix, Ariz., 3 and 2, to advance to Friday afternoon’s semifinal round at the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links. The final three rounds of the championship for public-course players are being conducted at 6,098-yard, par-71 Old Macdonald at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.
Park, a 16-year-old high-school junior, trailed early in the match, as she bogeyed the first two holes to give Woods, 20, a quick 2-up lead.
“I chunked my second shot on the first hole. It was so bad,” said Park, who finished ninth at the recent 2011 Rolex Girls Junior Championship. “And on the second hole I missed a 3-footer. After that, I woke up and was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I have to get it back.’ ”
Park was able to capitalize on Woods’ bogey on the par-4 fifth hole by converting her own par putt. From there, Park’s putting came together and she took the lead for good after another Woods bogey at the seventh hole.
“After that [putt on the fifth hole], I was like, ‘Okay, I’ve got it now,’ and then I started to putt well,” she said.
Until Friday morning, Woods, a senior at Wake Forest, had experienced few problems along the Scottish-inspired links at Bandon Trails and Old Macdonald. Calling Friday’s match the worst golf she’d played all summer, Woods pointed to her ongoing swing struggles as her ultimate downfall.
“I just wasn’t really feeling my swing,” said Woods, the niece of nine-time USGA champion Tiger Woods. “I wasn’t hitting it well this morning, so when I was out of the course, I was trying to find that one swing thought that would click and make me feel comfortable about there. But I never really was comfortable.”
Park will face 21-year-old Brianna Do in the afternoon’s first semifinal match, a meeting of the youngest and oldest semifinalists. Do dispatched fellow UCLA Bruin Stephanie Kono, 20, of Honolulu, Hawaii, by a 2-up margin.
Do and Kono battled through a back-and-forth match that saw 10 halved holes over the first 13. Do’s birdie on the par-4 14th hole gave her the lead for good, but she considered the win over her good friend a bittersweet one.
“Kono’s a great player and I knew she was going to be a tough match,” said Do, who defeated Kono, a 2010 USA Curtis Cup participant, in the third round of the 2010 WAPL. “I’m happy I won, but at the same time I wish we both could have moved on.
While the first semifinal match will include the youngest and oldest competitors, the second match features another breadth of competitors: Tiffany Lua, who at age 20 is competing in her 20th USGA individual championship, and Marissa Dodd, a 17-year-old from Allen, Texas, who is playing just her second USGA competition.
Lua, of Rowland Heights, Calif., rolled through her semifinal match, needing only 12 holes to defeat Brittany Altomare, 20, of Shrewsbury, Mass., 7 and 6.
“I’ve been having the same gameplan all week – grind and definitely just try and play as smart as I can,” said Lua, who played with Kono on the winning UCLA team at the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship, as well as the victorious 2010 USA Curtis Cup Team. “Just try to plan my balls on the levels, on the flat spots, go with the flow.”
Dodd, whose only previous match-play experience was a first-round loss at the 2010 U.S. Girls’ Junior, went to the 18th hole with a 1-up lead over Scotland’s Sally Watson, herself a two-time Curtis Cup participant for Great Britain and Ireland. Despite a mis-hit on her second shot that left her well short of the green, Dodd took the match when Watson missed her 10-foot birdie putt.
“I’ve got a real attitude of letting things roll off my back and forgetting about the previous shot,” said Dodd, who put that attitude to good use after nearly losing a 5-up lead in her third-round 2-up win over Prima Thammaraks. “I didn’t let it phase me – just stepped up and did what I’ve been practicing to do and stuck it close.”
The 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, which is being conducted concurrently at Bandon Dunes with the U.S. Amateur Public Links, continues Friday afternoon with the semifinal matches at Old Macdonald. The 36-hole championship final will be played Saturday, also at Old Macdonald.
The U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links is one of 13 championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Christina Lance is a coordinator of championship communications for the USGA. Email questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bandon, Ore. – Results from Friday’s quarterfinal round of match play at the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, conducted at 6,098-yard, par-71 Old Macdonald at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort:
Annie Park, Levittown, N.Y. (158) def. Cheyenne Woods, Phoenix, Ariz. (141), 3 and 2
Brianna Do, Viet Nam (155) def. Stephanie Kono, Honolulu, Hawaii (152), 2 up
Marissa Dodd, Allen, Texas (154) def. Sally Watson, Scotland (148), 1 up
Tiffany Lua, Rowland Heights, Calif. (154) def. Brittany Altomare, Shrewsbury, Mass. (148), 7 and 6
Bandon, Ore. – Pairings for Friday’s semifinal round of match play at the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, conducted at 6,098-yard, par-71 Old Macdonald at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort:
1:15 p.m.: Annie Park, Levittown, N.Y. (158) vs. Brianna Do, Viet Nam (155)
1:25 p.m.: Marissa Dodd, Allen, Texas (154) vs. Tiffany Lua, Rowland Heights, Calif. (154)