Abe and Ha Lead Early Qualifying in 2012 WAPL


Lakareber Abe plays from the fairway on the ninth hole as seen during the first round of stroke play at the 2012 U.S. Women's Public Links at Neshanic Valley Golf Course in Neshanic Station, N.J. on Monday, June 18, 2012. (Hunter Martin/USGA)
By Rhonda Glenn, USGA
June 18, 2012

Neshanic Station, N.J. –  Cindy Ha, 15, of Demarest, N.J., and Lakareber Abe, 16, of Angleton, Texas, fired rounds of 4-under-par 68 to take the early lead in stroke-play qualifying at the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links at the 6,221-yard, par-72 Neshanic Valley Golf Course.

Brittany Altomare, 21, of Shrewsbury, Mass., opened 36-hole qualifying with a 3-under-par 69.

Both Ha and Abe used sharp short-iron play to lead the morning wave of qualifiers. Ha also used local knowledge. She lives in Demarest, about 60 miles from the championship site, and has played the course “four or five times.”

Starting on the second nine, Ha birdied the 12th, 13th, 16th and 18th holes against two bogeys. After making the turn, her birdies came at the first, second, fourth and sixth holes. Only one of Ha’s birdie putts was longer than 15 feet, a curling 30-footer from the fringe on the 13th hole. Five of her approach shots nestled to within 8 feet of the hole and on the fourth and 14th holes she hit wedge shots to within a foot.

Admittedly keyed up on her opening holes, Ha rallied. “Once I got onto my back nine I got a lot steadier,” said Ha. “I knew there are a lot of good players, so I tried to go low.”

In going low, Ha shot her lowest score in a USGA championship. While this is her first U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, she twice played in the U.S. Girls’ Junior. In the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur, she reached the match-play round of 16.

Also starting on the second nine, Abe recorded birdies at the 12th, 16th and 18th holes. On the 503-yard, par-5 fourth hole, she hit the green with a 3-wood second shot and got down in two putts from 60 feet for another birdie. She capped her round with a final birdie at the par-5 ninth hole.

“I just tried to stay patient,” said Abe. “Sometimes I get ahead of myself but I didn’t today.”

Ha became a U.S. citizen last year when her parents, natives of South Korea, attained U.S. citizenship. She’s an incoming junior at Northern Valley Regional High School in Demarest.

Abe recently moved to Fort Worth, Texas to attend the Jim McLean Golf Academy and pursues studies on-line.  She lives in a house with other Academy students and several of their mothers, who rotate supervisory duties.

Altomare is an incoming senior at the University of Virginia. In 2011, she was a quarterfinalist in the Women’s Amateur Public Links and has qualified for the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open. In 2009 she played a Women’s Open practice round with Lorena Ochoa and watched the professional spend a lot of time practicing her short game during the round.

“I used to focus a lot on targets,” said Altomare. “Now I feel like working around the greens in practice is the best thing to do.”

On Monday, it paid off. One of Altomare’s six birdies came from a holed chip shot on the third hole.

After the conclusion of stroke-play qualifying on Tuesday, the low 64 scorers advance to match play. Matches begin on Wednesday and the championship concludes with a 36-hole final on Saturday. 

Rhonda Glenn is a manager of communications for the USGA. Email her at rglenn@usga.org.  

THE RULES OF GOLF APP
Get The Rules of Golf App For Your iPhone Or Android Today
Follow the USGA
Become a Facebook Fan of the USGAFollow us on Twitter @USGA
World Amateur Golf Ranking
WAGR Counting Event
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.


Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image