WAPL's 'Elder' Stateswoman Into Semifinals

At 20, South Dakota's Kaufman only non-teen left in draw

Kim Kaufman has become quite comfortable at Neshanic Valley Golf Course this week, and could be the second Dakotan to win a USGA title in Somerset (N.J.) County in the last three years. (Hunter Martin/USGA)
By Stuart Hall, USGA
June 22, 2012

Neshanic Station, N.J. – At age 20, Kim Kaufman has become the elder stateswoman of the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship. 

“[Thursday] I played [Allisen Corpuz] who was going to be a freshman in high school and I was like “Are you kidding?” Kaufman said. “Yes, I am the older one, but I don’t feel old. They’re just so good, so young now.”

Kaufman, though, was able to draw on whatever experience advantage she may possess in rebounding on the inward nine of Neshanic Valley Golf Course for a 2-and-1 victory over Chirapat Jao-Javanil, 19, of Thailand, in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Kaufman advanced to Friday afternoon’s semifinals against another teen, 16-year-old Ashlan Ramsey, of Milledgeville, Ga. Ramsey ousted Grace Na, 19, of Oakland, Calif., 3 and 1.

“This if my fourth Publinks and I had never gotten past the first round, and I know I’m better than that,” said Kaufman, a Texas Tech University senior who tied for eighth at last month’s NCAA Division I Women’s Championship in Franklin, Tenn. “So I came to win, came in with a different mentality.”

The Clark, S.D., resident is seeking to become the first Dakotan to win a USGA Championship since 2012 USA Curtis Cup member Amy Anderson, of Oxbow, N.D., won the 2009 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship nearly 30 minutes from here at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.

Ironically, Trump National and Neshanic both reside in Somerset County.

Kaufman has found Neshanic Valley to her liking.

Kaufman shot even-par 144 in stroke-play qualifying and then made four bogeys in an opening-round 2-and-1 win over Alice Chen. Kaufman has since played 50 holes in three matches, shooting the equivalent of nine under, given the usual match-play concessions, with just five bogeys.

“I like it. I like it off the tee, I like it on most every shot I stand over,” she said. “I feel really comfortable and there is not a hole I’m afraid of or intimidated by when I step on the tee.”

Against Jao-Javanil, the reigning NCAA Division I individual champion from the University of Oklahoma, Kaufman led, 2 up, after birdies at the par-4 first and fifth holes. The match was all square heading to No. 10 after Jao-Javanil won the par-4 eighth with birdie and par-5 ninth with par. Jao-Javanil took her lone lead on the 389-yard, par-4 10th.

“She had a 40-footer on 10 [for birdie] and I just had a 10-footer, and all of a sudden she makes it and I lost the hole,” Kaufman said. “I got a little shaky there in the middle, for sure, but managed to keep it together, and got only 1 down. Then she sort of gave me one with a bogey [at 13].”

At the 535-yard, par-5 14th, Kaufman regained her composure and the match by rolling in an arcing 25-foot birdie putt. A 10-foot birdie putt on the 328-yard, par-4 16th made the match dormie-2, and the match was concluded after bogeys were traded on the par-3 17th.

"Actually, I didn’t think I played all that great,” said Kaufman. “We didn’t exactly look like two great players, but I managed to get it done.”

That is what experienced players do in match play.

Stuart Hall is a North Carolina-based freelance writer whose work has previously appeared on USGA championship websites.  

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

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 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 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 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