Reigning U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links champion Emily Tubert got a nice bonus to her Wednesday when it was officially announced that she has received a sponsor's exemption to play in the LPGA's Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in early September.
The University of Arkansas sophomore raised the eyebrows of tournament officials after a stellar freshman season in which she won three times and was named first-team All-American. Her 19th-place finish at the NCAA Championships was also the best ever finish for a freshman.
"I am especially honored to be a part of the tradition of including players from the University of Arkansas," she said in a statement. "I went and watched the tournament last year and was so impressed by all of the support of the community. The Calling of the Hogs on 17 gave me goose bumps.”
In the tournament's inaugural playing in 2007, a former Razorback and USA Curtis Cup Team member Stacy Lewis, an amateur at the time, was declared the unofficial winner when play was reduced from 54 holes to 18 holes due to several days of inclement weather.
-- Stuart Hall
Under overcast skies, the first round of stroke play is underway here at Bandon Dunes. The ladies are back on Old Macdonald today, though the weather conditions are certainly much more favorable today than they were the last time we visited Old Mac. No sideways rain in the forecast today...
A quick look at the match-play bracket shows that it certainly is a young one. The three youngest championship players - Angel Yin (12), Allisen Corpuz (13) and Mariel Galdiano (13) - all advanced into match play. The five oldest competitors are all 22, making the average age of the WAPL match-play competitors just under 18.5 years of age. However, this is by no means an inexperienced field. Of the 64 players, only 12 are playing in their first USGA championship.
Both our defending champion, Emily Tubert, and runner-up, Lisa McCloskey, have advanced, as have 2010 semifinalist Ellen Mueller and 2010 quarterfinalist Brianna Do. Curtis Cup Team members Stephanie Kono and Tiffany Lua advanced, as did two-time GB&I representative Sally Watson.
Of the five U.S. Women's Open qualifiers who made the trip to Bandon Dunes, only three have moved on to match play. Christine Wolf, Kelly Shon and Galdiano all advanced to the match-play bracket. Rachel Rohanna, a tri-medalist at the 2010 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship, fell out of the last night's playoff after the first hole. Fourteen-year-old Xiyu Lin also failed to advance.
At 9:39 p.m., Ashley Edwards captured the final match-play berth with a birdie-3 at the 18th hole. She advances to meet medalist Cheyenne Woods at 8 a.m. tomorrow at Old Macdonald.
An interesting note - the 9:39 p.m. finish is later than the 2010 APL championship final, which did not conclude until 9:06 p.m.
Two more duelling pars from Choi and Edwards. These ladies are troupers. Despite the fact that it is almost dark out, they are heading back to the 18th hole to try and finish this tonight. No matter the outcome, this will be the final hole of the evening.
These two ladies are fighting for the final match-play spot. Both Choi and Edwards made pars on the par-4 first hole. At first, the plan was to continue the playoff tomorrow morning at Old Macdonald due to the dwindling daylight. However, Choi and Edwards agreed to try for one more hole before calling it a night. They are moving back to the par-3 second at Bandon Trails.
With two par-4s on the 18th hole, Choi and Edwards are headed back to the first hole for another go-round. The light is beginning to wane, but at least one more hole is possible.
Alice Choi and Ashley Edwards have advanced to a third playoff hole after making pars on the par-3 second hole. Sandra Angulo, T.J. Kliebphipat and Kaitlen Parsons each picked up their ball and conceded the hole to Choi and Edwards, who have moved on to the 18th hole. It is still light out here at Bandon Dunes - the benefit of a West Coast venue.
Ember Schuldt made a birdie-3 on the first hole to advance into the match-play bracket. Moving to the second hole on Bandon Trails are Sandra Angulo, Alice Choi, J.T. Kliebphipat, Ashley Edwards and Kaitlen Parsons, who all made par. Rachel Rohanna and Dianne Luke were eliminated following their bogeys, while Holly Bare did not tee off.
Now that regulation play has ended, a nine-for-two playoff will be conducted to determine the final two positions in the match-play field. The playoff will comprise Sandra Angulo, Ember Schuldt, Alice Choi, T.J. Kliebphipat, Ashley Edwards, Rachel Rohanna, Dianne Luke, Holly Bare and Kaitlen Parsons. We will live-blog the playoff results, so stay tuned.
It seems that Monday morning and Tuesday afternoon were the times to be on the course at the WAPL this year. Following a windswept morning where no players were able to break par, five players have made the afternoon turn showing red on the scoreboard. Cheyenne Woods is among those enjoying the more temperate conditions, converting two birdies to shoot two-under-par over her first nine holes.
The player making the biggest move, however, is Lisa McCloskey. The USC student struggled through the elements yesterday at Old Macdonald, but has come out today with a vengeance, following yesterday's 80 with a four-under-par cruise through her first nine holes at Bandon Trails. The rib injury that kept her out of the NCAA Championships surely doesn't seem to be bothering her today.
Hannah Pierce, 18, of King George, Va., has withdrawn from the WAPL with an injury.
The first groups have started making the turn at Bandon Trails this morning. The ladies are certainly enjoying completely different weather conditions than yesterday's drenching rain and piercing wind. While the sun has not made a total comeback, the clouds are thinner and the winds considerably calmer.
The better conditions, however, have not necessarily translated into lower scores. Early returns are matching yesterdays above-par totals. Kelsey Vines, the first-round leader at even-par 71, is the only low name on the course this morning. Julie Yang, Cheyenne Woods and Emily Tubert will all take to the links this afternoon.
The weather is certainly playing a factor here at Old Macdonald today. The players awoke to dry, overcast conditions, but throughout the morning, the winds grew steadily. Players with early tee times certainly used that to their advantage, as scores have almost uniformly increased on second nines.
With the afternoon came the rains. A steady, almost sideways rain has now tapered to a constant drizzle. And while the winds have slightly abated, the 30-mile-per-hour gusts are still steady enough to cut through all the clothing that these players have layered on. Mother Nature has made her presence known.
While one round does not a championship make, scores are soaring at Old Macdonald.
If the trend continues through the afternoon wave and Tuesday’s second round of stroke play at Bandon Trails, then the cut will be the highest of the past 10 years.
By mid-day on Monday, 10 over was sitting on the 64th position. Should that hold form, a figure close to 20 over may make the cut.
In 2002, coincidentally at Sunriver Resort, also located in Oregon, 15-over-par made the cut. Twice since 2002, 14-over has made the cut.
In 2004 at Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, Va., 5-over par was the cut line.
-- Stuart Hall
The wind is certainly blowing a gale at Old MacDonald today. Early in the round, Christine Wolf is pacing the field, making the turn at 2-under 32. Wolf, a native of Austria who graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga last month, earned a full exemption into this WAPL field by qualifying for the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open.
Nipping at Wolf’s heels is defending WAPL champion Emily Tubert, who posted a first nine at 1-over 48. Tubert’s constant companion through last year’s championship was her father and caddie, Marcelo, who is back on her bag at Bandon. Their close relationship was apparent through the early part of her round, and even displayed last evening, as the two were sighted fishing together in one of the lakes here at the Bandon Dunes facility.
The wait is over. After 14 days of sectional qualifying and two
days of practice rounds, the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship is
underway. The ladies will take to Old Macdonald today, the newest of the four
courses that comprise Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. Old Mac, as it is
affectionately called, runs along the windswept Oregon coast and will challenge
the players to take the wind into consideration. Tomorrow, the ladies will head
to Bandon Trails, an inland course that provides a wholly different test than
Old Mac, before the field is cut to the top 64 players who will advance to