Chen, Park Maintain WAPL Lead


By Christina Lance, USGA
June 18, 2013

NORMAN, Okla. – Picking right up from Monday, University of Southern California teammates Doris Chen and Annie Park carded 4-under 68s for two-day totals of 136 to share the clubhouse lead following Tuesday’s morning wave at the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, being conducted at the 6,351-yard, par-72 Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.

Their scores of 136 tie for the second-lowest 36-hole score in championship history, joining 2005 co-medalists Mari Chun and Angela Park at Swope Memorial Golf Course in Kansas City. The low score of 135 is shared by Brittany Lang (2004 at Golden Horseshoe Golf Course in Williamsburg, Va.) and Ariya Jutanugarn (2010 at The Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.).

The 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship consists of 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying followed by six rounds of match play, with the championship scheduled to conclude with a 36-hole final on Saturday.

It is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

Chen got off to a rocky start with consecutive bogeys on the 10th and 11th holes, her first two holes of the day. She blamed a lack of sleep for the poor early performance, and told herself that she could pull things together.

“I keep telling myself that I will be fine,” said Chen, of Bradenton, Fla. “I'll be just as good. I was hitting fine and I just need to get my putting into the hole.”

That pep talk certainly worked. Chen recorded three consecutive birdies at holes 14-16, and when a double bogey at the par-4 17th threatened to stop her momentum, Chen rebounded with a birdie at the par-4 18th. Three more birdies over her inward nine brought her back to the top of the leader board. 

When Chen heard that she was still tied with Park, the normally reserved 20-year-old erupted into laughter.

“I said ‘Oh my god’ because Annie is just firing at every tournament,” said Chen admiringly of her college teammate and now championship competition. “I'm just too impressed and not surprised at the same time.”

Park again cruised around the golf course, returning five birdies and one bogey for the second consecutive day. Her putting was her saving grace at the par-4 ninth, her final hole of the day, as she smoothly stroked a 15-foot putt to save par.

“[The course] just felt long,” said Park. “I was putting well, same as yesterday. Couldn't hit it straight, same as yesterday.”

Mariel Galdiano, tied for third following Monday’s first round, carded a 1-over 73 for a two-day total of 2-under 142. She is currently tied for third with Oklahoma State University’s Julie Yang, who followed yesterday’s round of 2-under 70 with an even-par 72.

Lacey Fears, a rising senior at Mercer University, made a hole-in-one at the 166-yard, par-3 second hole. It was the first ace recorded at the Women’s Amateur Public Links since Mary Matson did so at Red Tail Golf Club in Devens, Mass., in 2009.

Seventy-eight players remain on the course for the afternoon wave, including 2008 U.S. Girls’ Junior runner-up Karen Chung, defending Women’s Amateur Public Links champion Kyung Kim and 2010 WAPL champion Emily Tubert.

Christina Lance is the assistant manager of communications for the USGA. Email her at clance@usga.org.

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