U.S. WOMEN'S AMATEUR
Storylines For 2011 U.S. Women's Amateur August 6, 2011 By Beth Murrison, USGA

Californian Danielle Kang will look to defend her U.S. Women's Amateur title this week at Rhode Island C.C. (Steven Gibbons/USGA)

There are players from 33 states represented in the championship (all but Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming). There are 15 foreign countries represented – Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, the People’s Republic of China, Colombia, Germany, Great Britain (England and Scotland), Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. 

The average age of the 156 contestants in the field is 19.5. At age 12, Angel Yin of Korea is the youngest player in the field. At age 53, Alexandra Frazier of Haverford, Pa., is the oldest player in the field. The 2010 Senior Women’s Amateur runner-up is nine days older than 2009 Senior Women’s Amateur champion Sherry Herman of Belmar, N.J. Both Yin and Frazier are playing in their first U.S. Women’s Amateur.

Two players in the field will celebrate a birthday on Aug. 12 – Cindy Ha of Demarest, N.J., will turn 15 and Amy Ruengmateekhun of Garland, Texas, will turn 20.  

There are 11 USGA champions in the field: Amy Anderson, 19, of Oxbow, N.D. (2009 U.S. Girls’ Junior); Doris Chen, 18, of Bradenton, Fla. (2010 U.S. Girls’ Junior); Brianna Do, 21, of Vietnam(2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links); Mina Hardin, 50, of Fort Worth, Texas(2010 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur); Sherry Herman, 53, of Belmar, N.J.(2009 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur); Danielle Kang, 18, Westlake Village, Calif. (2010 Women’s Amateur); Martha Leach, 49, of Hebron, Ky.(2009 Women’s Mid-Amateur); Ariya Jutanugarn, 15, of Thailand  (2011 U.S. Girls’ Junior); Kristen Park, 18, of Buena Park, Calif. (2007 Girls’ Junior); Meghan Stasi , 33, of Oakland Park, Fla. (2006, 2007 and 2010 Women’s Mid-Amateurs); and Emily Tubert, 19, of Burbank, Calif.(2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links). 

Anderson, Chen, Jutanugarn, Kang are four of the 21 players in the field who competed at the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open at The Broadmoor. The others are: Emily Collins, 19, of Colleyville, Texas; Lindy Duncan, 20, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Mariel Galdiano, 13, of Pearl City, Hawaii; Moriya Jutanugarn, 17, of Thailand; Jennifer Kirby, 20, of Canada; Stephanie Kono, 21, of Honolulu, Hawaii; Erynne Lee, 18, of Silverdale, Wash.; Xi Yu Lin, 15, of the People’s Republic of China; Brittany Marchand, 19, of Canada; Chelsea Mocio, 19, of Fort Worth, Texas; Margarita Ramos, 21, of Mexico; Rachel Rohanna, 20, of Waynesburg, Pa.; Kelly Shon, 19, of Port Washington, N.Y.; Emma Talley, 17, of Princeton, Ky.; Victoria Tanco, 17, of Argentina; Gabriella Then, 15, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; and Christine Wolf, 22, of Austria.

Kang (USA) is one of 13 players who represented their countries at the 2010 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship in Argentina. Others who played in the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship are: Dottie Ardina, 17, of the Philippines; Holly Clyburn, 20, of England; Chihiro Ikeda, 20, of the Philippines; Jihee Kim, 17, of Korea; Jennifer Kirby, 20, of Canada; Lydia Ko, 14, of New Zealand; Gabriela Lopez, 17, of Mexico; Lisa McCloskey, 20, of Colombia; Sophia Popov, 18, of Germany; Manuela Carbajo Re, 17, of Argentina; Victoria Tanco, 17, of Argentina; Sally Watson, 20, of Scotland; and Christine Wong, 19, of Canada.

Clyburn (2010 GB&I Team), Kono (2010 USA Team), Stasi (2008 USA Team) and Watson (2008, 2010 GB&I Teams) are four of the six players who have played in the Curtis Cup Match. The others are: Tiffany Lua, 20, of Rowland Heights, Calif. (2010 USA Team); and Paula Pretswell, 22, of Scotland(2010 GB&I Team).  

There are several reigning international champions in the field: Rebecca Lee Bentham, 19, of Canada(2011 Canadian Women’s Amateur); Sophia Popov, 18, of Germany(2010 International European Ladies); Margarita Ramos, 21, of Mexico(2011 Women’s Mexican Amateur); and Lauren Taylor, 16, of England(2011 Ladies’ British Open Amateur).

The reigning NCAA Division I women’s individual champion is also in the field – Austin Ernst, 19, of

Seneca, S.C. Ernst made her only career hole-in-one during the final round of the championship.

There are two sets of sisters playing in the championship: Ariya (15) and Moriya Jutanugarn (17) of Thailand and Brittany (20) and Brooke (13) Henderson of Canada.

Other interesting storylines: 

Talia Campell, 17, of Dallas, Texas, played select soccer for the nationally ranked Sting Dallas Soccer Club prior to starting to play golf at age 13. She is also a second-degree black belt in tae kwon do.

Alejandra Cangrejo, 18, of Colombia, has won her country’s national amateur championship three times, in 2007, 2009 and 2010. The 2009 U.S. Girls’ Junior semifinalist started playing golf because she fell off a horse.

Hannah Collier, 19, of Birmingham, Ala., has played in two previous USGA championships – the 2006 and 2009 U.S. Girls’ Juniors. But she participated in a third when she caddied during the 2008 U.S. Junior Amateur at Shoal Creek.

Lauren Dobashi, 22, of Gold River, Calif., is an assistant golf coach at the University of California-Davis. She is a three-time winner of the Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar Award (2008, 2009, 2010).

Marissa Dodd, 17, of Allen, Texas, travels frequently with her family. This year they traveled to New Zealand and the island of Bora Bora, where they Scuba- dived with 11-foot sharks. She is a PADI-certified Scuba diver. Dodd, the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links runner-up, spent 11 years doing classical ballet.

Jordan Ferreira, 16, of University Place, Wash., is a member of the board of directors of The First Tee of the South Puget Sound. She is involved in fundraising and communications, and arranges club and equipment drives at local junior tournaments.

Alexandra Frazier, 53, of Haverford, Pa., founded a non-profit charity called Women Golfers Give Back that raises money for six girls’ golf programs in Philadelphia. To date the charity has given over a quarter-million dollars to the programs. Frazier also serves as the executive director of the Valentine Foundation.

Along with her three sisters, Courtney Hooton, 17, of Del Mar, Calif., founded Golfer Girl Magazine, a national magazine for female junior golfers that grew to a circulation of 10,000 with subscribers in 50 states, Canada and Mexico.

Jenni Jenq, 25, of Saratoga, Calif., ran the 2007 Boston Marathon. Her goal was to finish in less than five hours and she did so in 4 hours, 48 minutes and 17 seconds.

Ariya Jutanugarn, 15, of Thailand won last week’s PGA Junior Championship in Indiana by a whopping 10 strokes. Last month, she claimed the U.S. Girls’ Junior. Her 17-year-old sister, Moriya, was the low amateur at last month’s U.S. Women’s Open.

Lydia Ko, 14, of New Zealand, was the youngest player in history to make the cut in a Ladies European Tour event when she did so in 2010 at age 12. Earlier this year, she almost won the New South Wales Open, three-putting the last hole to lose by one stroke. In May, at the age of 14 years and 1 day old, she became the youngest person in history to be the No. 1 female in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Olivia Lansing, 23, of Dellwood, Minn., got engaged on Friday, July 22, three days before she received a call from the USGA to tell her she got into the Women’s Amateur as an alternate. Lansing, who works as a graphic designer for Mara-Mi, is playing in her fourth consecutive Women’s Amateur.

Gianna Misenhelter, 19, of Overland Park, Kan., was paired with local legend Tom Watson at the 2009 First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.

Nicole Morales, 15, of South Salem, N.Y., was the top-ranked player in the 10-and-under division of the USTA Eastern Section when she was nine years old.

Pamela Pretswell, 22, of Scotland, played tennis for her home country until she was 14. She was also a member of the Scottish Junior Badminton Squad.

Carol Robertson, 28, of Virginia Beach, Va., was just named the head women’s golf coach at  at Old Dominion University, where she served as an assistant last year. The 2010 reinstated amateur was the runner-up at the 2010 Women’s Mid-Amateur.

Rachel Rohanna, 20, of Waynesburg, Pa., was a stroke-play tri-medalist at the Women’s Amateur a year ago. She shot a championship-record 65 in the first round at Charlotte (N.C.) Country Club.

Kate Scarpetta, 22, of Moosic, Pa., can speak Swahili. The Princeton University graduate spent the summer of 2009 in Tanzania completing a language requirement at the University of Dar es Salaam and interning at an orphanage and adult English class.

Thuhashini Selvaratnam, 35, of Tempe, Ariz., won the 1989 Sri Lanka Amateur at age 12, earning her a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the youngest player to win a national championship.

Margaret Shirley, 25, of Auburn, Ala., is the assistant women’s golf coach at her alma mater, Auburn University.

Elyse Smidinger, 17, of Crofton, Md., is a state champion in two sports. She won the 2009 Maryland State Golf Association Junior Championship, and also won the Level 6 Maryland State Gymnastics Championship during her eight years as a gymnast. 

Meghan Stasi, 33, of Oakland Park, Fla., played in the 2008 Curtis Cup Match at St. Andrews in Scotland. She and her husband, Danny Stasi, became engaged on the Swilcan Bridge at the 18th hole of the Old Course after the Curtis Cup. She and Danny own and operate Shuck n Dive, an oyster restaurant in Florida. She also is a three-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion.

Emma Talley, 17, of Princeton, Ky., disqualified herself from winning her state golf tournament (by five strokes) because she realized she had signed the wrong score for her scorecard.

Compiled by Beth Murrison.