Diaz-Yi Wins 2013 WAPL

Posts record 10-and-9 victory in final match over co-medalist Chen


Lauren Diaz-Yi was the equivalent of one over par over the 27 holes of Saturday's U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links final. (USGA/Joel Kowsky).
By David Shefter, USGA
June 22, 2013

NORMAN, Okla. – Lauren Diaz-Yi, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., defeated stroke-play qualifying co-medalist Doris Chen, of Bradenton, Fla., 10 and 9, in the 36-hole final of the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship on Saturday at the 6,351-yard, par-72 Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.

The margin of victory was the largest in the 37-year history of the championship, surpassing the 7-and-6 victory by Jennifer Song over Kimberly Kim in 2009. The WAPL went to the 36-hole championship-match format in 2002.

The largest margin of victory in any USGA championship is 14 and 13, set by Anne Quast Sander when she defeated Phyllis Preuss at the 1961 U.S. Women’s Amateur at Tacoma (Wash.) Country & Golf Club.

It is the first USGA championship victory for Diaz-Yi, 18, an incoming freshman at the University of Virginia. In 2012, she reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Girls’ Junior at Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City, Calif., and the round of 32 at the U.S. Women’s Amateur at The Country Club in suburban Cleveland.

Chen, a member of the record-setting 2013 NCAA-champion University of Southern California women’s golf team, was vying to be the first medalist to win the WAPL since 2001, when fellow USC golfer Candie Kung took the title at Kemper Lakes Golf Club in suburban Chicago. Chen is the first medalist to lose after advancing to the championship match since Virada Nirapathpongporn fell to then-13-year-old Michelle Wie in 2003 at Ocean Hammock Golf Club in Palm Coast, Fla.

Chen, the 2010 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion, also was hoping to join Lori Castillo and the late Heather Farr as the only champions of both the Girls’ Junior and WAPL.

Earlier this week, Chen, ranked 33rd in the latest Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking (WWAGR), shared medalist honors with fellow Trojan Annie Park, shooting 8-under 136 on the Jimmie Austin OU layout, which was designed by Perry Maxwell. Diaz-Yi, ranked No. 228 in the WWAGR to start the week, was the No. 28 seed in the 64-player match-play draw after shooting 4-over 148 in qualifying.

The Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship began with 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying, with the low 64 scorers advancing to match play, which began on Wednesday. Five rounds of match play were conducted leading up to Saturday’s championship match.

The WAPL is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

“Winning this championship really means a lot to me,” said Diaz-Yi. “It’s my first real big win, and for it to be a USGA title just really tops it off.”

Playing under hot, sunny and breezy conditions, the players combined for just three birdies – all on the par-5 eighth hole – over 27 holes. Diaz-Yi just missed an eagle from 6 feet in the morning round, but won the hole with a 4. Both competitors birdied the hole in the afternoon round.

But Diaz-Yi, dressed in Virginia colors with an orange shirt and navy blue skirt, was more consistent throughout the match, shooting the equivalent of 1-over 73 – with the usual match-play concessions – in the morning 18 compared to Chen’s 81. She played even-par golf over the nine holes of the afternoon round, while Chen finished 13 over for the 27 holes.

The key, Diaz-Yi said, was grinding out 4- and 5-foot par putts on a setup that featured a plethora of challenging hole locations.

“I knew under [par] wasn’t going to be something you had to strive for today with these winds and pin placements,” said Diaz-Yi. “Today I just wanted to hit fairways, greens, [have a] two-putt par and just get out of there. I think just striving for the par was good enough.

“I don’t think I’ve ever made that many clutch inside-5-foot putts that actually mattered in my life of golf.” 

Diaz-Yi, who said Friday afternoon she was going to take a relaxed approach to the final, did appear calm as the match began. But after locking up her first USGA victory, she admitted to having trouble sleeping Friday night.

“When I woke up [Saturday] morning, I was … slightly nauseous,” she admitted. “I was like, ‘Maybe the nerves are kicking in.’ But when I was warming up, I was just trying to stay focused, have a good rhythm to my swing – nothing technical – but just play my own game. And it worked out.”

Diaz-Yi built a 4-up lead through nine holes and increased it to 5 up with a winning par on the short par-4 10th hole. Chen won her only hole of the match at No. 11, but immediately gave it back on the par-3 12th when she missed a 7-foot par putt.

The next six holes were halved with pars.

A frustrated Chen immediately went to the practice green after lipping out a 5-foot par putt on the 18th hole to go 6 down at the lunch break. But her play, especially her putting, didn’t improve.

“I was very tired and other than that, I had the wrong yardage pretty much the whole day,” said Chen, who will compete at next week’s U.S. Women’s Open at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y. “My swing was not working and my energy was just not there. Once my body wasn’t there, it really doesn’t matter how my mind works.”

Diaz-Yi continued applying the pressure in the afternoon, winning four of the first five holes with pars to take a 10-up lead, halving the final four holes, including a short 3-foot par putt on the par-4 27th hole which sealed the win. She was congratulated by 2013 WAPL participant and future Virginia teammate Briana Mao as well as other contestants and golf course staff. Even Chen’s USC teammates, Park and defending WAPL champion Kyung Kim, offered the new champion a congratulatory hug.

“I was shocked at how Doris played,” said Diaz-Yi, whose summer schedule will include the Canadian Women’s Amateur in Quebec, the North and South Amateur at Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort and the U.S. Women’s Amateur at the Country Club of Charleston (S.C.). “She looked a little tired. Doris wasn’t herself today. I think if she was playing that 8-under round like she did earlier in the week [during stroke play], it would have been an even tougher match.

“But I had a lot of fun playing today. It was good. She made me really grind it out there and make those clutch putts.”

David Shefter is a senior staff writer with the USGA. Email him at dshefter@usga.org.

Results

NORMAN, Okla. – Results from Saturday’s 36-hole championship match 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.

Pairing

Lauren Diaz-Yi, Thousand Oaks, Calif. (148) def. Doris Chen, Bradenton, Fla. (136), 10 and 9

THE RULES OF GOLF APP
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
Chevron
   

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
   

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
   

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
   

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