Neshanic Station, N.J. – All three USA Curtis Cup players were dispatched in Thursday morning’s second-round matches at Neshanic Valley Golf Course in the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship.
Sixteenth-hole heroics highlighted a second-round match between Alice Jeong, 17, of Gardena, Calif., and 2012 USA Curtis Cup player Lisa McCloskey, 20, of Houston, Texas.
Both eagled the short par-4, which was set at 259 yards. Jeong knocked in a 15-foot putt from the fringe for a 2. From the tee, McCloskey, the stroke-play qualifying medalist, nearly holed out her 3-wood shot and then tapped in a 2-footer for a matching eagle. But it was too late. Jeong won the match on the next hole, 2 and 1.
When Emily Tubert , the 2010 WAPL champion, lost to 2008 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Doris Chen, 2 and 1, and Tiffany Lua, 21, of Rowland Heights, Calif., was ousted by Brittany Altomare, 21, of Shrewsbury, Mass., 3 and 2, all three USA Curtis Cup players went to the sidelines
Another Curtis Cup player in the field, Sally Watson, 20, of Scotland, who twice played for Great Britain and Ireland (2008 and 2010), was defeated by 2011 WAPL semifinalist Annie Park, 3 and 1.
McCloskey was desolate after her defeat. “I had really good looks on the second nine and even on the first nine,” she said. “I should have made everything. I just couldn’t get my putter going.”
When Jeong birdied the 12th and 13th holes to go 3 up, McCloskey missed makeable birdie putts.
“If I just made those two putts, I felt like I had a chance to come back, but I missed those and I was pretty upset,” said McCloskey, who fired a 7-under-par 137 for 36 holes in qualifying. She has one college course to complete for a degree from the University of Southern California and will try to qualify for the LPGA Tour in the fall. She has filed an entry to play the U.S. Women's Amateur in August at The Country Club in Cleveland, but is still unsure if she'll compete.
Jeong is a relative newcomer to USGA national championships. She played in the 2010 U.S. Girls’ Junior but missed the cut for match play. She faces Allyssa Ferrell, 20, of Edgerton, Wis., in a third-round match this afternoon. Ferrell won her second-round match in 19 holes over Dana Finkelstein.
Park, 17, of Levittown, N.Y., roared through the final holes of her match against Watson. Watson was 1 up after the 12th hole when Park made five straight birdies to win four holes on the way in. She closed out the match, 3 and 1, with a birdie-2 on the 17th.
Park’s success has mostly come in junior golf. She was an all-American on the American Junior Golf Association circuit in 2008 and 2009. She will play Altomare in the third round.
Allisen Corpuz of Honolulu, Hawaii, was one of four 14-year-olds who qualified for match play. She is now the only one remaining. Corpuz defeated Chieh Peng, 18, of Chinese Taipei, in the second round, 3 and 2. She faces Kim Kaufman, 20, of Clark, S.D., in the third round.
Rhonda Glenn is a manager of communications for the USGA. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.