2012 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Storylines


By Rhonda Glenn, USGA
June 16, 2012

Erin Ahern, 19, of Hinsdale, Ill., was selected as a Stamps Scholar at the University of Illinois, one of six in the incoming freshman class. She is looking into the possibility of using her aerospace engineering degree to design the next generation of golf clubs.

Brittany Altomare, 21, of Shrewsbury, Mass., played in a practice round with Lorena Ochoa at the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open.

Rynea Baca, 17, of Wasilla, Alaska, and Susan Gatewood, 63, Anchorage, Alaska are the only competitors from the state of Alaska. Alaska is the only state never to host a USGA Championship (Utah and New Hampshire are hosting for the first time this year).

Alexis Biedrzycki, 15, of New Lenox, Ill., wears a silver money charm bracelet given to her by her grandfather a few weeks before he passed away from cancer. He told her to touch it whenever she was nervous on the golf course.

Caitlin Bliss, 23, of Katy, Texas, is the assistant golf coach at Texas State University.

Patricia Brogden, 57, of Garner, N.C., is a two-time cancer survivor.

Lauren Carter, 22, of West End, N.C., is getting her degree from Liberty University online after playing golf for two years at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

Flower Castillo, 20, of San Antonio, Texas, plays golf left-handed but does everything else right-handed.

Doris Chen, 19, of Bradenton, Fla., won the 2010 U.S. Girls’ Junior and qualified for this year’s U.S. Women’s Open at Blackwolf Run.

Allisen Corpuz, 14, of Honolulu, Hawaii, is the youngest Hawaii State Women’s Golf Association match-play winner in history at the age of 11. In 2008, she became the youngest qualifier in WAPL history, surpassing fellow Hawaiian and 2003 WAPL champion Michelle Wie.

Margo Dionisio, 21, of Whittier, Calif., always thought she was going to be an actress or comedian, until she took up golf.

Marissa Dodd, 18, of Allen, Texas, was the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links runner-up.

Josee Doyon, 19, of St-Georges-De-Beauce, Quebec, Canada, wants to be a Special Agent of Interpol if she does not make it on the LPGA Tour.

Alexia Gariepy, 14, of Murrieta, Calif., who is originally from Quebec, Canada, learned how to speak English by copying her classmates in kindergarten and by watching television.

Lea Garner, 18, of Washington Terrace, Utah, says her favorite place to practice is on the range located on her uncle’s dairy farm.

Korean-born Cindy Ha, 15, of Demarest, N.J., became a citizen of the United States last year.

Alice Jeong, 17, of Gardena, Calif., owns a second degree black belt in taekwondo.

Kimberly Johnson, 23, of San Diego, Calif., has graduated from UC Davis, but is eight units short for her diploma. In August, she is going to Ireland to study abroad and then going to Poland to spend time with her grandparents. She is currently using Rosetta Stone to learn Polish.

Hana Ku, 16, from Basking Ridge, N.J., has been a photo archive volunteer at the USGA Museum in Far Hills, N.J., for the past three years.

Isabella Lambert, 19, of Big Bend, Wis., got involved with the sport of falconry at her father’s urging. They trained falcons to fly and catch game. At one time, Lambert had 60 pets.

Yi Chen Liu, 19, of Hilton Head Island, S.C., has some interesting names in her family. She is nicknamed “Babe.” One of her brothers is named Champion.  They are natives of Chinese Taipei.

Lee Lopez, 22, of Whittier, Calif., was a member of the 2011 UCLA women’s NCAA Division I championship team. Her teammates included 2011 WAPL champion Brianna Do and two-time Curtis Cup member Tiffany Lua, who is also in the 2012 WAPL field.

Tiffany Lua, 21, of Rowland Heights, Calif., a member of the 2010 and 2012 USA Curtis Cup Team, has another lofty ambition – she wants to compete in television’s “The Amazing Race.”

Briana Mao, 18, of Folsom, Calif., enjoys doing volunteer work for The First Tee of Greater Sacramento (Calif.) and at Loaves and Fishes, a shelter that feeds the homeless.

Terri McAngus, 50, of Eagle River, Ark., once lost her putter after missing a putt. She swung it in exasperation and the club flew out of her hands into a small bush. The bush was only 4 feet in diameter, but she could never find her putter.

Lisa McCloskey, 20, of Houston, Texas, was born in Bogota, Colombia. She’s attending the University of Southern California and her parents live in Italy. McCloskey was also a member of the 2012 USA Curtis Cup Team.

Jamie Millard, 21, of Peoria, Ariz., began playing golf at the age of 14 when she didn’t make the volleyball team. Luckily, golf was her game and she won a scholarship to Southern Utah University.

Gianna Misenhelter, 20, of Overland Park, Kan., was paired with Tom Watson at the Wal-Mart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach in 2009, which prompted her to shed tears of joy walking up the 18th fairway. At the age of 12 months, she was a baby model and her photo appeared in all the stores of a national shoe store chain.

Audrey Nelson, 21, nicknamed “Spud,” of Sunbury, Ohio, is a film major at Bryan College. This is her first USGA championship.

Abby Newton, 17, of Katy, Texas, says she’s a typical Texan who likes hot weather, big trucks and good Mexican food. 

Kelli Oride, 18, of Lihua, Hawaii, was given the 2010 Kauai Salvation Army Youth Volunteer of the Year Award.

Hunter Pate, 12, of Las Vegas, Nev., has only been playing golf for four years. She enjoyed meeting 2007 U.S. Women’s Open champion Cristie Kerr and Boo Weekly at last year’s Wendy’s Classic. This is her first USGA championship.

Krista Pulsite, 21, now lives in San Marcos, Texas, but she was born in Riga, Latvia and was the Latvia Women’s Amateur and Women’s Open champion last year. She now attends Texas State.

Ashian Ramsey, 16, of Milledgeville, Ga., nicknamed “The Silent Assassin,” played Augusta (Ga.) National Golf Club when she was 10 years old and shot a commendable 87. She says her nickname came about because she is shy and quiet on the golf course.

Kayla Riede, 21, of Olivehurst, Calif., used to race competitively in Motocross. Injuries forced her to quit the circuit and focus on golf.

Pailin Ruttanasupagid, 15, of San Diego, Calif., says, “Love me, love my dogs.” She once played a round with famed instructor Hank Haney. She brushes her teeth and uses scissors left-handed; everything else she does right-handed.

Karolyne Shieh, 16, of Carlisle, Mass., is a competitive figure skater. She not only was runner-up in the Massachusetts State Girls’ Golf Championship, she qualified for Junior Nationals in figure skating.

Hannah Suh, 18, of San Jose, Calif., a student at the University of California-Berkeley, worked for three years as a senior research scientist at Pharmacokinetics.

Emily Tubert, 20, won the 2010 WAPL championship and played on the 2012 USA Curtis Cup team that lost two weeks ago to Great Britain and Ireland at The Nairn Golf Club. She has a sister, Sarah, who is on the USA National Deaf Women’s Volleyball Team.

Sally Watson, 20, of Scotland, has a wonderful memory from the 2008 Curtis Cup Match, in which she was a member of the Great Britain & Ireland Team. She says she will never forget holing the winning putt on the 18th green of the Old Course at St. Andrews in her first match. She lives 12 miles from the course.

Britney Yada, 20, of Hilo, Hawaii, studies math at Siena College. She also knows how to solve a 3 x 3 Rubik’s Cube.

Louise Yi, 21, of Cinnaminson, N.J., is a Philadelphia native and a big supporter of all of that city’s major league sports teams, often attending the games of the Eagles, 76ers, Phillies and Flyers.

Storylines compiled by Rhonda Glenn, manager of communications for the USGA. E-mail her at rglenn@usga.org. 

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