CHARLESTON, S.C. – Allisen Corpuz’s 2-under-par 69, the only subpar round of the morning, put her atop the leader board following Monday’s morning wave of stroke play in the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, being conducted at the par-71 Country Club of Charleston.
Five players trail Corpuz, of Honolulu, by two strokes at even-par 71, including four-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Meghan Stasi and 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links champion Emily Tubert.
Corpuz, 15, carded three birdies to only one bogey en route to the clubhouse lead over the Seth Raynor-designed course. A surprising birdie at the par-4 first hole set the pace for Corpuz’s steady round.
“I actually pushed my drive into the rough, in between the two bunkers on the first hole,” said Corpuz, who attends Honolulu’s prestigious Punahou School. “I caught a hybrid and it landed about 10 or 20 yards short [of the green] and rolled up to 30 feet.”
Corpuz knocked in that 30-footer and rolled from there, a bogey on the par-4 10th the only blemish on her scorecard. Despite her Monday success, Corpuz is very cognizant that the job is not finished.
“I still have to play a solid round tomorrow, but it's a lot better than shooting a couple over and having to worry about putting in another good round,” said Corpuz.
The Women’s Amateur is the final event in Corpuz’s daunting summer stretch of golf. The Corpuz entourage left Hawaii on May 30 and has not left the U.S. mainland since, including stops at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links and Girls’ Junior championships, the Rolex Girls Junior Championship and the Women’s TRANS National Championship. Corpuz came to Charleston fresh from a T5 finish at last week’s Junior PGA Championship in Potomac Falls, Va.
“I'm kind of ready to go home, but I'm trying to put in one last solid tournament,” said Corpuz with a wry smile.
Stasi, 34, of Oakland Park, Fla., is attempting to reach match play for the second time in her nine Women’s Amateur appearances. Five birdies, including a 20-footer at the club’s notoriously difficult par-3 11th, put her in prime position to advance.
“I had a little game plan,” said Stasi of her approach to the 11th, a classic reverse-Redan hole that features an extreme false front. “I hit it where I wanted to and was fortunate to make the putt.”
With the familiar presence of her father, Mike Bolger, on the bag, Stasi made easy work of her morning round.
“You really just have to pay attention to every shot,” said Stasi. “I was pretty fortunate to put myself in good spots.”
Tubert, 21, of Burbank, Calif., started on the 10th hole and opened with a strong 2-under 33 over her outward nine. Her inward nine, on the other hand, was a different story.
“I was putting great (on the first nine), got up and down a couple times,” said Tubert, the only member of the 2012 USA Curtis Cup Team who is eligible for the championship. “And then the back nine, I just was hitting it all over.”
Bogeys at the par-4 fourth and eighth holes dropped Tubert back to even for the day. But the day was not a total loss for the rising senior at the University of Arkansas, who had a less-than-stellar collegiate season before failing to make the cut at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links in June.
“I feel like my game, everything is kind of on the up-and-up,” said Tubert, who qualified for the 2013 U.S. Women’s Open, but missed the cut. “I’ve worked hard on a lot of mental stuff and swing stuff since I’ve been home. I feel like I’m on the verge of playing great golf.”
Alison Lee, the runner-up at the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior, returned a 1-over 72. Gabriella Then, who became the most recent USGA female champion when she won the U.S. Girls’ Junior two weeks ago, opened with a 2-over 73. Lauren Diaz-Yi, who captured the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, shot a 4-over 75, as did 2012 WAPL champion Kyung Kim and Erynne Lee, who represented the USA at the 2012 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship.
The championship’s youngest competitor, 10-year-old Lucy Li, failed to capture the same magic that propelled her into match play at the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links. Li opened with a triple-bogey 7 at the first hole en route to an 11-over 82.
“The course isn't much harder (than the WAPL course), but it's a lot longer,” said Li, of Redwood Shores, Calif., who last month became the youngest competitor in WAPL history to reach match play.
Seventy-eight players remain on the course for the afternoon round, including 2013 U.S. Women’s Open low amateur Casie Cathrea, 2013 NCAA champion Annie Park and five-time USGA champion Ellen Port.
Christina Lance is the assistant manager of communications for the USGA. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.