WAPL Champion Returns To Oklahoma

Annie Thurman Young, the 2002 champion and ex-Oklahoma State standout, serving as caddie for CSUN player Clariss Guce at WAPL

Annie Thurman Young hoisted the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links trophy in 2002 and 11 years later she is back at the championship, this time as a caddie for one of her Cal State-Northridge players. (USGA/Steve Gibbons)
By Lisa Mickey
June 17, 2013

NORMAN, Okla. -- U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links contestant Clariss Guce might have some extra incentive to play well this week. That’s because her caddie is her college coach, and that coach just happens to be Annie Thurman Young, the 2002 WAPL champion.

Young, a former All-American and Big 12 Player of the Year at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, is happy to return to the Sooner State. And her young charge, a senior at California State University-Northridge, is happy her coach is by her side for this week’s national championship for public-course golfers.

“She can still beat me and she gives me confidence when I’m out here,” said Guce. “Plus, she said if I win a tournament, I get a rematch.”

Young‘s prolific achievements extend beyond her legacy as a USGA champion; she also earned the decisive point for the USA in the 2004 Curtis Cup. A member of the Oklahoma State women’s team from 2001-2005, she turned professional and played in events on both LPGA and LPGA Futures Tours (now named Symetra Tour), with the hope of getting  full-time status on the LPGA Tour.

When that didn’t happen, Young was named the head women’s golf coach at Oklahoma State, where she worked from 2009-2011. She became the head women’s coach at CSUN in 2012.

Young was always a hyper-competitive player who hated to lose, but this week, the coach says she is happy to be a caddie with new perspective.

“When you are playing, you think it’s the only thing in life,” said Young, 30, who now lives in Santa Clarita, Calif., north of downtown Los Angeles. “Now, I have a different view and the goal is to make it easy golf.”

Easy, as in low-stress and enjoyable – an approach she is trying to share with her college players.

Young regained her amateur status a few years ago after playing professionally for 3½  years. She hopes to compete again, but she is no longer interested in the weekly traveling lifestyle of a touring pro. She and husband Caleb Young also hope to start a family.

Driving into the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club this week for the WAPL brought back a lot of memories for Young. She has met contestants of all ages, from the U.S. and around the world.

“All ages and all kinds of people can be successful here,” she said. “That’s what’s special about amateur golf.”

One thing Young says she will make sure Guce understands is the value of her experience at the WAPL. Her own experience at the championship was a career-impacting event.

“I didn’t realize how big it was at the time,” she said. “I got more opportunities after winning this tournament, and making the U.S. Curtis Cup team was one of them -- which was the highlight of my career.”

Young’s playing career is not over, and Guce might have to face her coach in amateur competition in the near future.

Until then, Guce will focus on winning a championship somewhere to force her coach into a rematch. And the former WAPL winner, no doubt, will be ready as ever.

Lisa Mickey is a Florida-based freelance writer who has previously contributed to USGA 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