2012 Women's Amateur Storylines


By Christina Lance
August 5, 2012

The youngest player in the championship is 10-year-old Latanna Stone, of Valrico, Fla. She is the third youngest qualifier in USGA history, following Allisen Corpuz at the 2008 Women’s Amateur Public Links and Michelle Wie at the 2000 Women’s Amateur Public Links. The oldest player in the championship is 56-year-old Brenda Pictor, of Marietta, Ga.

The average age of the Women’s Amateur field is 20.4 years of age.

The field is composed of players from 18 countries: Australia, Canada, Colombia, England, France, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Paraguay, the People’s Republic of China, the Philippines, Scotland, South Africa, Thailand and the United States.

There are 35 states represented in the Women’s Amateur field: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

There are eight USGA champions in the field: Amy Anderson, 20, of Oxbow, N.D. (2009 Girls’ Junior); Mina Hardin, 51, of Fort Worth, Texas (2010 Senior Women’s Amateur); Ariya Jutanugarn, 16, of Thailand (2011 Girls’ Junior); Martha Leach, 50, of Hebron, Ky. (2009 Women’s Mid-Amateur); Minjee Lee, 16, of Australia (2012 Girls’ Junior); Ellen Port, 50, of St. Louis, Mo. (1995, 1996, 2000, 2011 Women’s Mid-Amateur); Meghan Stasi, 34, of Oakland Park, Fla. (2006, 2007, 2010 Women’s Mid-Amateur); and Emily Tubert, 20, of Burbank, Calif. (2010 Women’s Amateur Public Links).

There are 10 USGA runners-up in the field: Dottie Ardina, 18, of the Philippines (2011 Girls’ Junior); Karen Chung, 17, of Livingston, N.J. (2008 Girls’ Junior); Marissa Dodd, 18, of Allen, Texas (2011 Women’s Amateur Public Links); Mina Hardin (2011 Senior Women’s Amateur); Moriya Jutanugarn, 18, of Thailand (2011 Women’s Amateur); Martha Leach (2011 Women’s Mid-Amateur); Alison Lee, 17, of Valencia, Calif. (2012 Girls’ Junior); Lisa McCloskey, 20, of Houston, Texas (2010 Women’s Amateur Public Links); Ellen Port (2001 Women’s Mid-Amateur); and Ashlan Ramsey, 16, of Milledgeville, Ga. (2012 Women’s Amateur Public Links).

There are six members of the 2012 USA Curtis Cup Team in the field: Amy Anderson; Austin Ernst, 20, of Seneca, S.C.; Tiffany Lua, 21, of Rowland Heights, Calif.; Lisa McCloskey; Erica Popson, 21, of Davenport, Fla.; and Emily Tubert. Tiffany Lua also represented the USA at the 2010 Match. Ellen Port played on the 1994 and 1996 USA Teams, while Meghan Stasi played on the 2008 Team.

There are three members of the 2012 Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup Team in the field: Holly Clyburn, 21, of England; Bronte Law, 17, of England; and Stephanie Meadow, 20, of Northern Ireland. Holly Clyburn also represented GB&I in 2010, while Sally Watson, 20, of Scotland, was a member of the 2008 and 2010 GB&I Teams.

Ten players in the Women’s Amateur field competed in the 2012 Women’s Open: Elisabeth Bernabe, 17, of Anaheim Hills, Calif.; Jaye Marie Green, 18, of Boca Raton, Fla.; Moriya Jutanugarn; Megan Khang, 14, of Rockland, Mass.; Lydia Ko, 15, of New Zealand; Alison Lee; Maria Gabriela Lopez, 18, of Mexico; Stephanie Meadow; Kelly Shon, 20, of Port Washington, N.Y.; and Emma Talley, 18, of Princeton, Ky. Lydia Ko, Alison Lee and Emma Talley made the cut, with Lydia Ko taking low-amateur honors.

As of Aug. 1, 15 players in the Women’s Amateur field are in the top 25 of the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking: Celine Boutier, 18, of France (No. 15); Casey Danielson, 17, of Osceola, Wis. (No. 22); Breanna Elliott, 20, of Australia (No. 9); Austin Ernst (No. 13); Jaye Marie Green (No. 11); Whitney Hillier, 21, of Australia (No. 16); Chirapat Jao-Javanil, 19, of Thailand (No. 24); Ariya Jutanugarn (No. 2); Moriya Jutanugarn (No. 10); Hyo-Joo Kim, 17, of Korea (No. 3); Lydia Ko (No. 1); Minjee Lee (No. 4); Lisa McCloskey (No. 25); Stephanie Meadow (No. 12); and Su-Hyun Oh, 16, of Australia (No. 23).

Thirteen players have participated in the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship: Jayvie Marie Agojo, 26, of the Philippines (2004); Dottie Ardina (2006, 2010); Isabelle Boineau, 23, of France (2006); Holly Clyburn (2010); Diana Fernandez, 20, of Paraguay (2010); Moriya Jutanugarn (2008); Jennifer Kirby, 21, of Canada (2010); Lydia Ko (2010); Maria Gabriela Lopez (2010); Lisa McCloskey (2010, representing her birth country of Colombia); Marijosse Navarro, 15, of San Antonio, Texas (2010, representing her birth country of Mexico); Sally Watson (2010); and Christine Wong, 20, of Canada (2010).

There are four sets of sisters in the field: Carly and Emily Childs, 18 and 22, of Alameda, Calif.; Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn; McKenzie and Steffi Neisen, 17 and 20, of New Prague, Minn.; and Mariana and Sierra Sims, 17 and 16, of Austin, Texas. There is also one set of cousins: Cherokee Kim, 16, of Dupont, Wash., and Erynne Lee, 19, of Silverdale, Wash.

Additional Player Notes

Jayvie Marie Agojo, 26, of the Philippines, was the runner-up at the 2012 Philippines Amateur Match Play Closed Championship. She won the 2011 Hong Kong Ladies Open Amateur.

Erin Ahern, 19, of Hinsdale, Ill., is a Stamps scholar at the University of Illinois, one of only six accepted for the 2011-12 freshman class. The program recognizes students for “their excellence in leadership, perseverance, service, innovation and academic success.” She is majoring in aerospace engineering, and would like to build airplanes, rockets or spacecraft. She would also like to perhaps use her degree to design the next generation of golf clubs.

Amy Anderson, 20, of Oxbow, N.D., received the LPGA’s 2012 Dinah Shore Award, which is presented to a female collegiate golfer who has demonstrated academic and athletic excellence, as well as strong leadership skills and community involvement. She carries a 3.97 GPA at North Dakota State University, where is she majoring in accounting with a minor in fraud investigation. She recently finished second at the 2012 World University Games in the Czech Republic.

Stephanie Arcala, 23, of Oceanside, Calif., is an administrative assistant at Vanorsdale Insurance Services.

Dottie Ardina, 18, of the Philippines, won the 2012 Philippines Amateur Match Play Closed Championship.

Celine Boutier, 18, of France, won the 2012 Internationaux De France Juniors (Trophee Esmond) and the recent European Ladies Championship. She led France to victory at the 2010 and 2011 European Girls Team Championships.

Julie Carmichael, 48, of Indianapolis, Ind., is the president/CEO of Suburban Healthcare Organization, is a fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives and is a part-time faculty member at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Along with her father, 1961 U.S. Amateur quarterfinalist and former IU golf coach Sam Carmichael, she owns the Martinsville (Ind.) Golf Club. Carmichael won the 1986 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship while attending Stanford University. She was inducted into the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame in 2005.

Carly Childs, 18, of Alameda, Calif., won the 2011 California Junior Girls’ State Championship. She and her sister, Emily Childs, 22, also of Alameda, Calif., are Junior Merit Members at Lake Merced Golf Club, host of the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship. Emily just completed her eligibility at the University of California-Berkeley, where Carly will be a freshman this fall.

Karen Chung, 17, of Livingston, N.J., was the runner-up at the 2012 Rolex Tournament of Champions and won the 2011 Thunderbird International Junior.

Holly Clyburn, 21, of England, is left-handed but plays golf right-handed. She was a member of the victorious GB&I Team at the 2011 Astor Trophy.

Emily Collins, 20, of Colleyville, Texas, qualified for the 2011 Women’s Open.

Casey Danielson, 17, of Osceola, Wis., was a quarterfinalist at the 2011 Women’s Amateur. She is a three-time Wisconsin state high school champion and has committed to attend Stanford University. Her brother, Charlie, just qualified for the U.S. Amateur.

Sarah Beth Davis, 21, of College Station, Texas, showed Brahmin cattle at livestock shows when she was in high school.

Lauren Diaz-Yi, 17, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., earned the nickname “Golf Goddess” from her AP Statistics teacher. She enjoys learning about environmental sciences, and has committed to attend the University of Virginia.

Annie Dulman, 18, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., learned the game from her mother, Laura Dulman, a retired teaching professional.

Kendall Dusenberry, 17, of Newhall, Calif., has sustained numerous injuries in her lifetime, including wrist surgery in September 2010 and broken ankles in sixth, seventh and eighth grades. Her mother, Samantha, is a former All-American softball pitcher for UCLA.

Melissa Edmonson, 20, of Coral Gables, Fla., is a dual citizen of the United States and Scotland, as her mother is Scottish. She considers playing Muirfield, site of the 2013 British Open, to be her career golf highlight.

Breanna Elliott, 20, of Australia, qualified for match play at the 2011 Women’s Amateur using rented clubs, as none of her luggage came on her flight. She is a member of Golf Australia’s 2012 national tier-one squad and won the 2012 Women’s Trans National Amateur.

Lauren English, 19, of Bloomington, Ill., comes from a family of golfers. Her parents, Mark and Mary, are PGA teaching professionals, and own a golf course in her hometown. Her brother, Kyle, competed in the 2007 and 2008 U.S. Amateurs.

Austin Ernst, 20, of Seneca, S.C., won the 2012 North and South Women’s Amateur Championship and made the cut at the 2012 Kraft Nabisco Championship. She won the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship as a member of the Louisiana State University golf team and advanced to the semifinals of the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur.

Jaye Marie Green, 18, of Boca Raton, Fla., competed in the 2010 and 2012 Women’s Opens. She made the cut at the 2012 Kraft Nabisco Championship after receiving an exemption into the field. Green also won the 2011 South Atlantic Ladies Amateur Championship (the SALLY).

Ani Gulugian, 20, of Irvine, Calif., was part of UCLA’s winning team at the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship. She competed in the 2009 Women’s Open at Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pa.

Whitney Hillier, 21, of Australia, is a member of Golf Australia’s 2012 national tier-two squad. She won the 2012 Malaysian Ladies Amateur Open and was a semifinalist at the 2012 Australian Amateur.

Jennifer Hirano, 22, of Pinole, Calif., made her only career hole-in-one in a practice round at the 2008 Women’s Amateur at Eugene (Ore.) Country Club.

Chirapat Jao-Javanil, 19, of Thailand, won the individual title at the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship.

Ariya Jutanugarn, 16, of Thailand, was the low amateur at the 2011 and 2012 Kraft Nabisco Championships. So far in 2012, she has won the Junior PGA Championship, Royale Cup Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship, Rolex Girls Junior Championship, Thunderbird International Junior and Women’s Western Amateur. She was also the runner-up at the 2012 South Atlantic Ladies Amateur Championship (the SALLY), to her sister, Moriya. She reached the semifinals of the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior.

Moriya Jutanugarn, 18, of Thailand, won the 2012 South Atlantic Ladies Amateur Championship (the SALLY) over her younger sister, Ariya, as well as the 2012 Scott Robertson Memorial. She was the runner-up to Ariya at the 2012 Royale Cup Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship, Rolex Girls Junior Championship and Women’s Western Amateur, finished second at the 2012 Dixie Amateur Championship and was third at the 2012 Harder Hall Invitational.

Hyo-Joo Kim, 17, of Korea, tied for fourth at the 2012 Evian Masters as the lone amateur in the field. She was the low individual scorer at the 2012 Queen Sirikit Cup (the Amateur Ladies Asia-Pacific Invitational Golf Team Championship) and helped lead the South Korean Team to its sixth consecutive victory in the event.

Jennifer Kirby, 21, of Canada, was a semifinalist at the 2010 Women’s Amateur and competed in the Women’s Open in 2010 and 2011. She was a part of the University of Alabama women’s golf team that won the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship. Kirby is a member of Golf Canada’s National Team.

Lydia Ko, 15, of New Zealand, won the 2012 New South Wales Open in Australia at age 14, becoming the youngest person ever to win a professional event. She won the 2012 Australian Amateur and was the stroke-play co-medalist at the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur. Also in 2011, Ko received the Mark H. McCormack Medal, which is awarded to the season’s top-ranked amateur. Ko advanced to the semifinalis of the 2012 Girls’ Junior.

Kacie Komoto, 17, of Honolulu, Hawaii, was a member of Hawaii’s third-place team at the 2009 USGA Women’s State Team Championship. She attends the Punahou School, which also produced President Barack Obama, 2003 Women’s Amateur Public Links champion Michelle Wie and 2010 USA Curtis Cup Team member Stephanie Kono.

Andrea Kraus, 51, of Baltimore, Md., had a hole-in-one less than 24 hours before giving birth to her son, Matthew. She is a 13-time winner of the Baltimore Metropolitan Championship. Kraus is a graduate of Yale University, where she was captain of the women’s golf team.

Alessandra Kutz, 17, of Sanford, Fla., carries in her golf bag a medal that her father gave her before he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2004 for 16 months. He did a second, one-year tour of duty in Kuwait in 2010.

Martha Leach, 50, of Hebron, Ky., is the sister of six-time USGA champion and recent World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Hollis Stacy, whom Leach introduced during the ceremony. Leach was a semifinalist at the 1991 Women’s Amateur.

Alison Lee, 17, of Valencia, Calif., won the 2012 Legacy Junior Challenge, which earned her a spot in the Kraft Nabisco Championship, as well as the 2012 ANNIKA Invitational. She appears in the USGA’s new set of Public Service Announcements that feature USGA Members. She also made the cut in the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open at age 14 and has committed to attend UCLA in the fall of 2013.

Erynne Lee, 19, of Silverdale, Wash., won the 2012 Pacific Coast Intercollegiate and received 2012 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors. She competed in the 2008 and 2011 U.S. Women’s Opens, and advanced to the semifinals at the 2008 Women’s Amateur. She credits family, friends and her UCLA women’s golf team with helping her deal with the unexpected loss of her mother in the fall of 2011.

Minjee Lee, 16, of Australia, is a member of Golf Australia’s 2012 national tier-one squad. She was a semifinalist at the 2012 Australian Amateur, where she fell to Lydia Ko.

Isabelle Lendl, 21, of Goshen, Conn., won the 2012 Women’s Eastern Amateur Championship. She is the daughter of former World No. 1 tennis player and eight-time Grand Slam winner Ivan Lendl.

Grace Lennon, 21, of Australia, won the 2012 Victorian Women’s Stroke Play Championship in her home country, as well as the 2011 New South Wales Amateur Championship.

Lee Lopez, 22, of Whittier, Calif., was part of UCLA’s winning team at the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship.

Tiffany Lua, 21, of Rowland Heights, Calif., was part of UCLA’s winning team at the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship.

Brittany Marchand, 20, of Canada, competed in the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open. She is of South African, French Canadian and Chinese descent, and is a member of Golf Canada’s National Team.

Caitlin McCleary, 22, of The Dalles, Ore., only started playing golf when she was 18.

Lisa McCloskey, 20, of Houston, Texas, competed in the 2010 and 2011 Women’s Opens. She will celebrate her 21st birthday on the second day of championship play, Aug. 7.

Brogan McKinnon, 17, of Canada, is one of five sisters, all with unusual names – Rheagan, Tennyson, Austyn and Qwynn.

Stephanie Meadow, 20, of Northern Ireland, scored the winning point for the GB&I Team at the 2012 Curtis Cup Match, just weeks after winning the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship with the University of Alabama. She also won the 2012 Ladies British Open Amateur Championship. Meadow has lived in the United States since she was 14.

Beverly Mendoza, 21, of the Philippines, loves watching films, especially foreign films, and hopes to one day attend the Cannes Film Festival in the south of France. She is active in Texas Tech University’s foreign exchange program and knows how to say “I’m awesome” in at least 10 languages.

Haley Millsap, 22, of Pace, Fla., will attend Downline Ministries this summer, which is a leadership and discipleship ministry program in Memphis, Tenn.

Chelsea Mocio, 20, of Fort Worth, Texas, competed in the 2011 Women’s Open.

Meghan Moore, 21, of Bahama, N.C., was the runner-up at the 2012 NCAA Division II Women’s Golf Championship for the University of North Carolina-Pembroke.

Marijosse Navarro, 15, of San Antonio, Texas, won the 2012 Mexican Women’s Amateur Championship.

Lucy Nunn, 25, of Lexington, Ky., is an assistant golf coach at the University of Kentucky. She competed in the 2010 Women’s Open.

Su-Hyun Oh, 16, of Australia, is a member of Golf Australia’s 2012 national junior squad. She won the 2012 Australian Girls Amateur and was the runner-up at the 2012 Victorian Women’s Stroke Play.

Katie Petrino, 20, of Fayetteville, Ark., redshirted the 2010-11 women’s golf season at the University of Louisville and ended up playing on the softball team.

Brenda Pictor, 56, of Marietta, Ga., was the stroke-play medalist at the 2011 Women’s Mid-Amateur and advanced to the quarterfinals. Also in 2011, she won the Georgia State Golf Association’s Senior Women’s Amateur and Senior Women’s Match Play. Pictor won the 2010 North & South Senior Women’s Amateur and was the runner-up in 2011.

Erica Popson, 21, of Davenport, Fla., became the first person since Lorena Ochoa in 2001-02 to capture medalist honors at four consecutive NCAA tournaments during the 2010-11 season with the University of Tennessee women’s golf team. She won the 2010 Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship and the 2011 Bryan National Collegiate, SEC Championship and NCAA West Regional.

Ellen Port, 50, of St. Louis, Mo., is a four-time medalist of the Women’s Mid-Amateur and has won the championship a record four times. She has won the Missouri Women’s Amateur Championship on eight occasions, and has captured 13 St. Louis Metropolitan Championships. Port, a high school teacher and coach, was inducted into the Missouri and St. Louis Sports Halls of Fame in 2012.

Kendall Prince, 19, of Lake Oswego, Ore., found out she won 2012 Big 10 Freshman of the Year honors while she was recovering from an emergency appendectomy. She has since transferred from Ohio State University to the University of Arizona.

Rachael Pruett, 23, of Linton, Ind., is a graduate assistant women’s golf coach at her alma mater, Ball State University. She is pursuing a graduate degree in biomechanics and hopes to have a career in college athletics as a golf coach. Due to a scheduling mix up, she nearly missed her Women’s Amateur qualifier, discovering only 14 hours ahead of time that her qualifier was the next day.

Ashlan Ramsey, 16, of Milledgeville, Ga., was the runner-up to Kyung Kim at the 2012 WAPL at Neshanic Valley Golf Course in New Jersey. Her nickname is “Silent Assassin,” as she does not like to talk on the golf course. She shot an 87 at Augusta National at age 10.

Emily Ransone, 20, of Hilliard, Ohio, won the 2012 Delaware Women’s Amateur Championship.

Paula Reto, 22, of South Africa, and was part of Purdue University’s winning team at the 2010 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship. She won the 2011 and 2012 Dixie Amateur, becoming the first player to win consecutive championships.

Demi Frances Runas, 20, of Torrance, Calif., reached the quarterfinals at the 2011 Women’s Amateur, her first time competing in the championship.

Madeleine Sheils, 22, of Boise, Idaho, won the 2012 Idaho Women’s Amateur Championship. One of her favorite memories is skydiving with her college roommate in 2011.

Margaret Shirley, 26, of Auburn, Ala., is the assistant women’s golf coach at her alma mater, Auburn University. She won the 2011 Georgia State Golf Association’s Women’s Match Play.

Amy Beth Simanton, 20, of Lake Oswego, Ore., won the 2009 and 2012 Women’s Oregon Amateur Championship.

Lauren Smith, 21, of Macon, Ga., is passionate about animals and wants to create a nonprofit organization to help abused and injured animals.

Clare Sorenson, 18, of Roseville, Calif., was a competitive basketball player until deciding to focus on golf following her sophomore year in high school. Her goal is to become a commentator for the Golf Channel.

Meghan Stasi, 34, of Oakland Park, Fla., won the 2012 Ione D. Jones/Doherty Championship. Her husband, Danny, proposed to her on the Swilcan Bridge at the 18th hole of the Old Course at St. Andrews after she represented the United States at the 2008 Curtis Cup Match. She and Danny own and operate Shuck n Dive, an oyster restaurant in Florida.

Emma Talley, 18, of Princeton, Ky., disqualified herself from winning her state golf tournament (by five strokes) because she realized she had signed for a wrong score. She won the state championship on three occasions, and set an AJGA record in 2011 by winning four consecutive tournaments.

Lauren Taylor, 17, of England, won the 2011 British Ladies Amateur Golf Championship.

Seshia-Lei Telles, 20, of Tualatin, Ore., recently returned from a two-week trip to Ethiopia with Oregon State University’s “Beavers Without Borders” program. Along with 13 fellow student-athletes, Telles built houses for two families registered with Holt International Children Services.

Ariel Tidwell, 18, of Allen, Texas, attended the 2012 Byron Nelson Championship and found Dustin Johnson’s ball that he lost in the rough.

Emily Tubert, 20, of Burbank, Calif., has a younger sister, Sarah, who plays on the USA National Deaf Volleyball Team.

Jessica Vasilic, 16, of Anaheim Hills, Calif., has dual citizenship with the United States and Sweden, where she spent much of her childhood. She has competed on the Swedish National Team.

Sally Watson, 21, of Scotland, lives only 12 miles from the famed Old Course at St. Andrews, in a home previously owned by a well-known club-making family in the 19th Century, Forrester of Elie.

Tatiana Wijaya, 16, of Indonesia, won the women’s golf championship at the 2011 Southeast Asian Games (also known as the SEA Games) in a playoff after making a nine-stroke comeback on the final day.

Christine Wong, 20, of Canada, is a member of Golf Canada’s National Team and won the 2012 British Columbia Women’s Amateur Championship, having previously won in 2010. She made the cut at the 2010 Women’s Open.

Anna Young, 19, of Canada, has an interesting family connection to Kentucky Fried Chicken. Her grandfather traveled with Colonel Sanders promoting the first KFC restaurants.

Christina Lance is a coordinator of championship communications for the USGA. Email her at clance@usga.org.  

 

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