Storylines For 2014 WAPL


By USGA
July 13, 2014

Ninety-one players are competing in their first U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, while 63 players are playing in their first USGA championship.

The average age of the Women’s Amateur Public Links competitors is 18.9 years old.

Lucy Li, 11, of Redwood Shores, Calif., is the championship’s youngest competitor. In June, Li became the youngest qualifier in U.S. Women’s Open history. In 2013, she became the second-youngest player in U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links history at 10 years, 8 months and 16 days of age and the youngest to ever reach match play. She also became the youngest competitor in U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship history.

The championship’s oldest competitor is 45-year-old Hui Chong Dofflemyer, of Belvidere, Ill. Lucy Nunn, 27, of Lawton, Okla., is the only other mid-amateur in the championship field.

There are 10 countries represented at the championship: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the People’s Republic of China, France, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Thailand and the United States of America.

There are 34 states represented at the championship: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

There are four USGA champions in the field: Doris Chen, 21, of Bradenton, Fla. (2010 U.S. Girls’ Junior); Lauren Diaz-Yi, 19, of Thousand Oaks, Calif. (2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links); Kyung Kim, 20, of Chandler, Ariz. (2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links); and Gabriella Then, 18, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (2013 U.S. Girls’ Junior). Additionally, Alice Chen, 18, of Princeton, N.J., and Cindy Ha, 17, of Demarest, N.J., were members of New Jersey’s winning team at the 2013 USGA Women’s State Team Championship.

There are three USGA runners-up in the field: Lakareber Abe, 18, of Angleton, Texas (2013 U.S. Girls’ Junior); Doris Chen (2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links); and Marissa Dodd, 20, of Allen, Texas (2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links).

Kyung Kim and Annie Park, 19, of Levittown, N.Y., were members of the victorious 2014 USA Curtis Cup Team.

Kyung Kim; Dana Finkelstein, 21, of Chandler, Ariz.; and Annie Park were part of the four-person United States Team at the 2014 World University Games in Switzerland. The three players, along with Jennifer Hahn, finished second to the team from Spain, with Kim finishing fourth in the individual championship. Kim and Park attend the University of Southern California (USC), and were members of the USC team that won the 2013 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship. Finkelstein attends the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).

Two Women’s Amateur Public Links competitors qualified for the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open Championship: Samantha Gotcher, 19, of Clarksville, Tenn. (76-82—MC), and Lucy Li (78-78—MC).

Two championship competitors won their age division at the 2014 Drive, Chip & Putt Championship: Lucy Li (Girls 10-11) and Hunter Pate, 14, of Las Vegas (Girls 14-15).

Seven championship competitors are in the top 50 of the Women’s World Amateur Golf RankingTM as of Wednesday, July 9, the last WWAGR update prior to the start of the championship: Annie Park (No. 11); Kyung Kim (No. 12); Doris Chen (No. 14); Grace Na, 21, of Alameda, Calif. (No. 19), Soobin Kim, 21, Seattle, Wash. (No. 21); Dana Finkelstein (No. 26); and Mariel Galdiano, 16, of Pearl City, Hawaii (No. 49).

There are two sets of sisters in the field: Dominique Galloway, 16, and Jacquelyn Galloway, 14, of Rio Rancho, N.M.; and Angella Then, 15, and Gabriella Then, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Players with Washington Connections

Seven players in the Women’s Amateur Public Links field hail from the state of Washington:

  • Jacqueline Bendrick, Mercer Island
  • Kendall Gray, Federal Way
  • Alexis Keating, Elma
  • Soobin Kim, Seattle
  • Kaitlen Parsons, Greenacres
  • Katie Lee, Silverdale
  • Marianne Li, Bellevue

Ten players in the Women’s Amateur Public Links field attend or have attended college in the state of Washington:

  • Gonzaga University
    • Victoria Fallgren
    • Alice Kim
    • T.J. Kliebphipat
    • Raychelle Santos
  • University of Washington
    • Aram Choi (transferred to Portland State University)
    • Soobin Kim
    • Eimi Koga
    • Cyd Okino
    • Jennifer Yang
  • Washington State University
    • Nani Yanagi

General Player Notes

Sarah Bae, 20, of Pinehurst, N.C., was named 2014 Big South Conference Freshman of the Year after earning two victories for High Point University. Bae won the 2010 North & South Junior Girls Championship.

Jacqueline Bendrick, 18, of Mercer Island, Wash., is a 2014 National Merit Scholar and will attend Furman University in the fall. Bendrick was born in Malaysia and had lived in four countries by the time she was 7 years old.

Tina Chang, 19, of Mineola, N.Y., is a former competitive figure skater and ballerina.

Alice Chen, 18, of Princeton, N.J., won the 2013 New Jersey high school individual championship and earned player-of-the-year honors. Chen also won the 2013 New Jersey State Golf Association’s Women’s Amateur and Junior Girls’ championships.

Doris Chen, 21, of Bradenton, Fla., won the 2014 NCAA women’s golf individual championship for the University of Southern California. She was a member of the USC team that won the 2013 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship, along with Kyung Kim and Annie Park. Chen played in the 2011-13 U.S. Women’s Opens, and was a semifinalist at the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur.

Aram Choi, 22, of Canada, won the 2014 Big Sky Championship for Portland State University.

Catherine Dolan, 24, of Ballwin, Mo., won the 2011 and 2013 Missouri Women’s Amateur Championships, and was the runner-up in 2012 to six-time USGA champion and 2014 USA Curtis Cup Team Captain Ellen Port. Dolan won the Metropolitan Amateur Golf Association’s 2013 Women’s Amateur, and was the runner-up to Port in 2014.

Robyn Doig, 22, of Canada, won the 2013 and 2014 Ontario Women’s Match Play Championships. Her 7-and-6 victory in 2013 included six consecutive birdies.

Harley Dubsky, 18, of Valparaiso, Ind., was the 2013 Indiana state high school champion.

Haley Dunn, 20, of Layton, Utah, was a competitive downhill skier, but she stopped racing after a serious thumb injury.

Dana Finkelstein, 21, of Chandler, Ariz., was the 2013 and 2014 Mountain West Conference Player of the Year for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She earned her first career hole-in-one at the 2014 NCAA Championship at Tulsa (Okla.) Country Club, which will host the 2014 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship.

Mariel Galdiano, 16, of Honolulu, qualified for the 2011 and 2013 U.S. Women’s Open Championships. She was the 2013 and 2014 Hawaii state high school champion, and plays the clarinet in the Punahou School band.

Dominique Galloway, 16, of Rio Rancho, N.M., won the 2013 Albuquerque Women’s City Golf Championship, becoming the youngest winner in championship history. She also won the 2013 New Mexico West Texas Women’s Amateur and the 2014 New Mexico Class 5A high school girls championship.

Jacquelyn Galloway, 14, of Rio Rancho, N.M., became interested in the game of golf at age 5 when her older sister, Dominique, received her first set of golf clubs. Jacquelyn was so jealous of Dominique’s clubs that she snuck into her bedroom and stole the clubs.

Kendall Gray, 18, of Federal Way, Wash., won the 2013 Pacific Northwest Golf Association’s Junior Girls’ Championship.

Lydia Gumm, 20, of Radcliff, Ky., won the 2014 Kentucky Women’s Amateur Championship.

Cindy Ha, 17, of Demarest, N.J., reached the quarterfinals of the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Course in Norman, Okla., where she fell to Raychelle Santos. She made a hole-in-one on the 12th hole in her second-round victory over Grace Park. Ha won the 2011 New Jersey State Golf Association’s Junior Girls’ Championship.

Rose Huang, 16, of Honolulu, is fluent in Mandarin. She has received all A’s since the seventh grade.

Caroline Inglis, 20, of Eugene, Ore., reached the second round of match play at the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. She was runner-up at the 2013 Pacific Northwest Women’s Amateur Championship.

Alice Jeong, 19, of Gardena, Calif., was a semifinalist at the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, where she fell to eventual champion Kyung Kim.

Torey Johnson, 22, of Conway, S.C., was a member of the StarMakers Dance Company and has competed in clogging, Irish-step clog, tap, hip-hop and jazz. She won the 2008 and 2010 Caddie Classics, conducted by the South Carolina Junior Golf Association, and earned the opportunity to caddie at the Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After the Masters Pro-Am. In 2008, she caddied for D.J. Trahan and singer Samantha Cole, and she caddied for Jim Furyk and Darius Rucker in 2010.

Leilanie Kim, 21, of Canada, won the 2014 Western Athletic Conference Championship individual title for the University of Idaho. She is a former member of the Canadian National Team’s development squad.

T.J. Kliebphipat, 22, of Panorama City, Calif., is a P.J. Boatwright intern with the Southern California Golf Association’s Youth on Course program.

Brooke Kochevar, 19, of Glen Ellyn, Ill., was born without an esophagus and had surgery at a young age to correct the disorder.

Laura Kraft, 21, of Jamestown, N.D., is the only person in North Dakota history to win three consecutive high school golf titles.

Anina Ku, 13, of Basking Ridge, N.J., played the the violin at Carnegie Hall at age 4.

Isabella Lambert, 21, of Big Bend, Wis., won the 2013 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship individual title for Butler University.

Luciane Lee, 20, of Brazil, comes from a golfing family. Her brother, Lucas, is a professional golfer and was a member of the UCLA team that won the 2008 NCAA Division I Golf Championship. Her cousin, Angela Park, won 2007 LPGA Rookie of the Year honors after finishing tied for second at that year’s U.S. Women’s Open.

Katie Lee, 18, of Silverdale, Wash., won the 2012 Washington State Champion of Champions. She is the younger sister of 2014 USA Curtis Cup Team member Erynne Lee.

Ines Lescudier, 22, of France, won the 2014 Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational for Kennesaw State University. She transferred to KSU from Tulane University, where she won the 2013 Atlantic Sun Conference individual title. Lescudier has been a member of the French national team since 2005 and has represented her home country at numerous international events, including the 2013 European Ladies Team Championship.

Marika Liu, 20, of Beverly Hills, Calif., played her youngest sister, Mika, in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Women’s Southern Amateur Championship. Although she lost, Marika calls the experience “unforgettable.” She is the captain of the women’s golf team at Yale University, and has interned the past two summers in private banking, at an arts foundation and as a pastry chef.

Noelle Maertz, 20, of Clark, N.J., won the 2012 New Jersey State Golf Association’s Women’s Public Links Championship.

Emily Mahar, 15, of Australia, moved to Scottsdale, Ariz., in October 2012. She attends Xavier College Preparatory and plays on their girls’ golf team, which includes Amanda Blumenherst, Heather Farr and Cheyenne Woods among its alumnae. Her current teammates include Madison Kerley and Hannah O’Sullivan, who have both competed in the U.S. Women’s Open. Coincidentally, Mahar lost to O’Sullivan in the first round of the 2013 U.S. Girls’ Junior, her first appearance in a USGA championship.

Ashley Malinchak, 18, of Parkland, Fla., was a competitive gymnast for eight years before focusing on golf.

Kaci Masuda, 18, of Honolulu, is an accomplished drummer.

Alyssa Morahan, 20, of North Reading, Mass., was the first girl to play on her high school’s boys’ varsity golf team. She is studying psychology at the University of Tampa and hopes to become a sports psychologist.

Grace Na, 21, of Alameda, Calif., was a quarterfinalist at the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links. Na, who recently completed her eligibility at Pepperdine University, is only the second player in school history to earn All-America honors four times. She won the 2014 Anuenue Spring Break Classic and the 2013 West Coast Conference Championship, as well as three other collegiate tournaments.

Elle Nichols, 18, of Okemos, Mich., is a three-time state high school champion and was named 2013 Miss Golf by the state coaches association.

Lucy Nunn, 27, of Lawton, Okla., played in the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open.

Cyd Okino, 20, of Honolulu, qualified for the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open at age 14.

Camille Orito, 18, of Fresno, Calif., won the 2014 Western Athletic Conference individual title for New Mexico State University. She was named WAC Freshman of the Year and earned Women’s Golf Coaches Association Academic All-American honors.

Annie Park, 19, of Levittown, N.Y., qualified for the 2012 and 2013 U.S. Women’s Open Championships, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links and the semifinals of the 2011 WAPL. Her successful 2013 collegiate season, in which she won the NCAA individual title, earned her Player and Freshman of the Year honors from the Women’s Golf Coaches Association. Park also won the 2013 Golfstat Cup, which is awarded to the NCAA, NAIA or Junior College player with the lowest scoring average.

Ashleigh Park, 12, of Mission Viejo, Calif., was a member of Pat Bradley’s winning team at the 2014 KNC Champions Junior Challenge, conducted at Mission Hills Country Club the week of the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Hunter Pate, 14, of Las Vegas, won the 2013 Nevada State Women’s Golf Association’s State Stroke Play Championship.

Katharine Patrick, 16, of West University Place, Texas, attends a high school for the performing arts and specializes in classical piano.

Krystal Quihuis, 18, of Tucson, Ariz., won the 2013 Winn Grips Heather Farr Classic.

Karly Ragains, 21, of Highland Village, Texas, was a ballerina for 11 years before deciding to focus on golf.

ShaeBug Scarberry, 14, of Purcell, Okla., received her nickname (her given name is ShaeLee) from her childhood fascination with bugs. She served as a volunteer standard bearer at last week’s U.S. Senior Open at Oak Tree National in Edmond, Okla.

Kristen Schelling, 24, of Mesa, Ariz., came back from double hip surgery and two car accidents in 2011 to return to the golf course.

Bryce Schroeder, 20, of Wichita, Kan., competes in bodybuilding and figure competitions.

Hannah Sodersten, 20, of Fresno, Calif., is a former competitive badminton player.

Maddie Szeryk, 17, of Allen, Texas, won the 2014 Thunderbird International Junior, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association.

Mikayla Tatman, 21, of Fort Collins, Colo., is playing in her first USGA championship and honoring her late father, Lloyd. He was her inspiration to begin playing golf, and it was his dream for her to play collegiately. However, he passed away in 2012 of pancreatic cancer before Mikayla began her college career. She currently plays at Colorado State University under coach and 2002 WAPL champion Annie Thurman Young.

Shelby Thompson, 19, of Dover, Ohio, never took a formal golf lesson until she joined the Charleston Southern University women’s golf team.

Hannah Wood, 18, of Centennial, Colo., won the 2013 Kathy Whitworth Invitational.

Sydney Youngblood, 16, of Durant, Okla., won the 2013 and 2014 Oklahoma high school class 5A championships.

Compiled by Christina Lance, the assistant manager of championship communications for the USGA. Email her at clance@usga.org.

 

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