U.S. WOMEN'S AMATEUR
2015 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship Storylines August 7, 2015 | Far Hills, N.J. By USGA

Bethany Wu, the stroke-play medalist in the 2014 U.S. Women's Amateur, will be the highest-ranked player in the field at Portland Golf Club. (USGA/Darren Carroll)

U.S. Women's Amateur Home

The average age of the Women’s Amateur competitors is 19.24 years old.

The youngest player in the championship is Anne Chen, 14, of Sugar Land, Texas.

Ellen Port, 53, of St. Louis, Mo., is the oldest player in the championship. Lucy Nunn, 28, of Lawton, Okla., is the oldest championship qualifier.

There are 99 players in the field between the ages of 14 and 19. Fifty-one players are between the ages of 20 and 24, with four players between the ages of 25 and 29 and two players in their 50s.

There are 17 countries represented at the championship: Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, France, Guatemala, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Spain, Thailand, the United States of America and Venezuela.

There are 30 states represented at the championship: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

There are nine USGA champions in the field:

  • Kristen Gillman, 17, of Austin, Texas (2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur)
  • Alice Jo, 16, of Clermont, Fla. (2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links)
  • Mika Liu, 16, of Beverly Hills, Calif. (2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball)
  • Rinko Mitsunaga, 18, of Roswell, Ga. (2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball)
  • Ellen Port (1995, 1996, 2000, 2011 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur; 2012, 2013 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur)
  • Julia Potter, 27, of Indianapolis, Ind. (2013 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur)
  • Eun Jeong Seong, 15, of the Republic of Korea (2015 U.S. Girls’ Junior)
  • Margaret Shirley, 29, of Roswell, Ga. (2014 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur)
  • Princess Mary Superal, 17, of the Philippines (2014 U.S. Girls’ Junior)


There are seven USGA runners-up in the field:

  • Judith Kyrinis, 51, of Canada (2014 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur)
  • Hannah O’Sullivan, 17, of Chandler, Ariz. (2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball)
  • Ellen Port (2002 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur)
  • Julia Potter (2014 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur)
  • Eun Jeong Seong (2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links)
  • Margaret Shirley (2013 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur)
  • Angel Yin, 16, of Arcadia, Calif. (2015 U.S. Girls’ Junior)


Four U.S. Women’s Amateur competitors were members of winning teams in the USGA Women’s State Team Championship:

  • Alice Chen, 19, of Princeton, N.J. (2013)
  • Rachel Dai, 18, of Milton, Ga. (2011)
  • Cindy Ha, 18, of Demarest, N.J. (2013)
  • Mariah Stackhouse, 20, of Riverdale, Ga. (2009)


Ten U.S. Women’s Amateur competitors played in the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open Championship:

  • Celine Boutier, 21, of France (76-73—MC)
  • Sarah Burnham, 19, of Maple Grove, Minn. (79-74—MC)
  • Maria Fassi, 17, of Mexico (74-72—MC)
  • Mariel Galdiano, 17, of Pearl City, Hawaii (70-74-71-71—286, T-42)
  • Kristen Gillman (75-76—MC)
  • Muni He, 16, of the People’s Republic of China (68-74-73-73—288, T-53)
  • Dylan Kim, 18, of Plano, Texas (75-74—MC)
  • Gaby Lopez, 21, of Mexico (72-76—MC)
  • Hannah O’Sullivan (72-71-74-71—288, T-53)
  • Samantha Wagner, 18, of Windermere, Fla. (80-74—MC)


Four U.S. Women’s Amateur competitors have played in the Curtis Cup Match:

  • Bronte Law, 20, of England (GB&I, 2012, 2014)
  • Mariah Stackhouse (USA, 2014)
  • Ellen Port (USA, 1994, 1996; USA captain, 2014)
  • Charlotte Thomas, 22, of England (GB&I, 2014)


Thirteen U.S. Women’s Amateur competitors have represented their home countries in the Women’s World Amateur Team Championships:

  • Shannon Aubert, 19, of France (2012)
  • Pajaree Anannarukarn, 16, of Thailand (2014)
  • Lucia Gutierrez Ballon, 19, of Peru (2012)
  • Celine Boutier (France, 2012, 2014)
  • Mathilda Cappeliez, 17, of France (2014)
  • Claudia De Antonio, 19, of Weston, Fla. (Venezuela, 2012)
  • Kristen Gillman (USA, 2014)
  • Munchin Keh, 22, of New Zealand (2012, 2014)
  • Bronte Law (England, 2014)
  • Gaby Lopez (Mexico, 2010, 2014)
  • Lucia Polo, 20, of Guatemala (2010, 2012, 2014)
  • Magdalena Simmermacher, 19, of Argentina (2014)
  • Princess Mary Superal (Philippines, 2014)


Four U.S. Women’s Amateur competitors represented their home countries in July’s Pan American Games:

  • Lucia Gutierrez Ballon (Peru)
  • Kristen Gillman (USA)
  • Andrea Lee (USA)
  • Lucia Polo (Guatemala)

Lee won the individual silver medal, and the USA won the team silver medal (combined with male players).

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Thirteen championship competitors are in the top 25 of the Women’s World Amateur Golf RankingTM as of Wednesday, Aug. 5, the last WWAGR update prior to the start of the championship:

  • No. 2 Bethany Wu, 18, of Diamond Bar, Calif.
  • No. 5 Bronte Law
  • No. 6 Sierra Brooks, 17, of Sorrento, Fla.
  • No. 7 Hannah O’Sullivan
  • No. 10 Angel Yin
  • No. 11 Celine Boutier
  • No. 14 Mariel Galdiano
  • No. 15 Andrea Lee
  • No. 17 Gaby Lopez
  • No. 19 Bailey Tardy, 18, of Peachtree Corners, Ga.
  • No. 22 Eun Jeong Seong
  • No. 23 Justine Dreher, 23, of France
  • No. 24 Nelly Korda, 17, of Bradenton, Fla.


Four members of the Stanford University women’s golf team that won the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship are in the field:

  • Shannon Aubert
  • Casey Danielson, 20, of Osceola, Wis.
  • Lauren Kim, 20, of Los Altos, Calif.
  • Mariah Stackhouse

Three players will celebrate a birthday during championship week:
 
  • Cindy Ha (8/12/96, turning 19)
  • Andrea Lee (8/15/98, turning 17)
  • Rinko Mitsunaga (8/15/96, turning 19)


Local Connections

Five players in the field hail from the Pacific Northwest:

  • Caroline Inglis, 21, of Eugene, Ore.
  • Brittany Kwon, 14, of Bremerton, Wash.
  • Ashlee Pickerell, 21, of Wilsonville, Ore.
  • Ellen Secor, 17, of Portland, Ore.
  • Monica Vaughn, 20, of Reedsport, Ore.

Additionally, Erica Wang was born in Kirkland, Wash. The 18-year-old currently resides in Corona, Calif.

Five players in the field attend colleges in the Pacific Northwest:
  • Gonzaga University
    • Lou Daniella Uy, 18, of the Philippines
  • University of Oregon
    • Caroline Inglis
    • Cathleen Santoso, 20, of Australia
  • Oregon State University
    • Ashlee Pickerell
  • University of Washington
    • Charlotte Thomas

General Player Notes
 

Pajaree Anannarukarn, 16, of Thailand, earned low-amateur honors in the 2013 Thai LPGA Masters thanks to a long birdie putt that forced a sudden-death playoff. She also won the 2014 Singha-Sat Thai LPGA Championship.

Shannon Aubert, 19, of France, is a member of the French national team that won the 2014 and 2015 European Ladies Team Championships. She holds French, Irish and South African citizenship, has lived in nine countries and speaks four languages fluently. Aubert, who went to high school in Florida and won two individual state titles, won the 2013 Dixie Women’s Amateur Championship.

Lucia Gutierrez Ballon, 19, of Peru, won the 2014 California Women’s Amateur Championship and the 2014 South American Women’s Amateur Championship.

Lila Barton, 25, of Dallas, Texas, played golf at Stanford University, and in April she partnered with her former college teammate, Marissa Mar, to compete in the inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship, reaching the Round of 16. Barton is a marketing director for Chegg, an online education service focused on high school and college students.

Hannah Berman, 17, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., was the female recipient of the 2015 USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award. Berman conducts several annual fundraisers that benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She also volunteers with several charities in her area, working more than 100 hours in 2014 alone.

Haley Bookholdt, 16, of Columbus, N.J., is on her high school’s girls lacrosse team.

Celine Boutier, 21, of France, helped Duke University win the 2014 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship.

Sierra Brooks, 17, of Sorrento, Fla., was named the 2015 American Family Insurance All-USA Girls Golf Player of the Year by USA Today. Verbally committed to attend Wake Forest University, Brooks won the Women’s Southern Amateur, South Atlantic Women’s Amateur (the SALLY) and Florida State High School 1A championships in 2015. In 2014, she won the AJGA Polo Golf Junior Classic and was a member of the victorious USA Team in the Junior Ryder Cup. She also won the 2013 AJGA Girls and 2010 U.S. Kids World championships.

Susan Cavanagh, 21, of Warwick, R.I., won the 2014 Rhode Island Women’s State Amateur Championship, a match-play event, and the Rhode Island Women’s State Stroke Play Championship. Cavanagh, the fourth of 13 children, played ice hockey for the University of Connecticut in 2013-14, where she was the only freshman on the squad to skate in all 35 games. However, she decided to play college golf and left the school, which does not have a women’s golf program.

Marissa Chow, 21, of Honolulu, Hawaii, birdied four of her first six holes in the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open and was among the early first-round leaders, though she ultimately shot 76-80 and missed the cut.

Selena Costabile, 17, of Canada, won the 2014 Investors Group Spring Classic, conducted by the Golf Association of Ontario, and 2013 Ontario High School Golf Championship. Trilingual in English, French and Russian, she is currently studying Spanish and Japanese. She also plays the piano at the highest level of the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Amy Ding, 18, of Lexington, Mass., co-founded the Pura Vida Project, a nonprofit organization that raises money and awareness for underprivileged children in Spanish-speaking countries.

Justine Dreher, 23, of France, won the 2014 Annika Intercollegiate for the University of South Carolina, and was the runner-up in the 2014 Dixie Women’s Amateur Championship. Dreher, who was born in Germany and lived there for 12 years, is a member of the French national team that won the 2014 and 2015 European Ladies Team Championships.

Elizabeth Elmassian, 19, of Australia, was the runner-up in the 2015 Australian Women’s Amateur Championship.

Maria Fassi, 17, of Mexico, won the 2015 Women’s Mexican Amateur Championship.

Mariel Galdiano, 17, of Pearl City, Hawaii, won the 2015 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship. She is a three-time Hawaii state high school golf champion (2013, 2014 and 2015) and has competed in three U.S. Women’s Opens (2011, 2013, 2015).

Kristen Gillman, 17, of Austin, Texas, is the defending U.S. Women’s Amateur champion. She also won the 2014 Junior PGA Championship and played on the victorious USA Team in last year’s Junior Ryder Cup. Gillman was named the 2014 South Texas PGA Junior Golfer of the Year and a 2014 Rolex Junior First-Team All-American by the American Junior Golf Association.

Emilee Hoffman, 17, of Folsom, Calif., caddied for her father, Jeff, when he played in the 2009 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. Her father will return the favor this week.

Hayley Hrynewich, 20, of Muskegon, Mich., has a twin brother, Reed, who is playing in the upcoming U.S. Amateur Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club near Chicago. The Hrynewichs are believed to be the first set of brother-sister twins to play in the U.S. Women’s Amateur and U.S. Amateur in the same year.

Alice Jo, 16, of Clermont, Fla., won the last U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, in 2014 at The Home Course, in DuPont, Wash., defeating Eun Jeong Seong, the 2015 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion and fellow 2015 Women’s Amateur competitor, in the final match. Born in Japan, Jo grew up in the People’s Republic of China, becoming the first USGA champion from mainland China. She now resides in the U.S.

Sisters Munchin Keh, 22, and Wenyung Keh, 18, both of New Zealand, met in the final match of the 2012 New Zealand Women’s Amateur Championship, with Munchin taking the victory. The Kehs are members of New Zealand’s High Performance Team, run by the New Zealand Golf National Development Program.

Katie Kirk, 22, of Davidson, N.C., won the 2015 Dinah Shore Trophy, presented by the LPGA Foundation to female collegiate golfers who excel in academics and athletics. Kirk received two Masters degrees in 2015 from East Carolina University and accumulated a 4.0 GPA following an undergraduate career capped with a 3.99 GPA.

Nelly Korda, 17, of Bradenton, Fla., won the 2015 Harder Hall Invitational and Yani Tseng Invitational, and was runner-up in the 2015 South Atlantic Women’s Amateur (the SALLY) and Rolex Girls Junior championships. Korda is the younger sister of 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur runner-up Jessica Korda and the daughter of retired tennis star Petr Korda.

Jennifer Kupcho, 18, of Westminster, Colo., won the Colorado Women’s Golf Association’s 2015 Stroke Play Championship. 

Judith Kyrinis, 51, of Canada, is a registered nurse at Toronto General Hospital. She recorded a hole-in-one while 8½-months pregnant with her oldest child. She was the runner-up in the 2014 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur.

Bronte Law, 20, of England, won the 2014 and 2015 English Women’s Amateur Championships, the latter by 16 strokes.

Andrea Lee, 16, of Hermosa Beach, Calif., won the 2014 Rolex Tournament of Champions and 2014 Yani Tseng Invitational, both conducted by the American Junior Golf Association. She was the low amateur at the 2015 Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, where she tied for 51st.

Binny Lee, 17, of Frisco, Texas, is the daughter of two martial arts masters, and is a first-degree black belt. Her mother, Nanyool Lee, won a gold medal in taekwondo at the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea.

Alessandra Liu, 22, of Bala Cynwyd, Pa., worked on a farm for three weeks this summer to gain an appreciation for local foods. She told her mother that if she were to qualify for the Women’s Amateur, her mother would have to stop drinking soda for the next year.

Mika Liu, 16, of Bradenton, Fla., won the 2014 Women’s Western Amateur and Southern Amateur championships. She received an amateur exemption into the LPGA Tour’s 2015 ANA Inspiration, and represented the USA in the 2014 World Junior Girls Championship in Canada. She comprised half of the winning team in the inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship in May at Bandon Dunes with teammate Rinko Mitsunaga.

Gaby Lopez, 21, of Mexico, won the 2014 Women’s Mexican Amateur Championship, and was the individual runner-up in the 2015 NCAA Division I Championship for the University of Arkansas.

Kortnie Maxoutopoulis, 22, of Pleasanton, Calif., will graduate this month from Texas Christian University and become a graduate assistant coach for the Georgia Southern University women’s golf team. Maxoutopoulis attended LPGA/USGA Girls Golf programs in her hometown, where she was coached by 1985 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Dana (Lofland) Dormann.

Courtney McKim, 24, of Raleigh, N.C., was a member of the University of Alabama team that won the 2013 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship. She is now a project manager for real estate and indirect sourcing for ConvaTec, a global medical products and technologies company.

Rinko Mitsunaga, 18, of Roswell, Ga., won the 2015 Georgia Women’s Match Play Championship, as well as the 2015 Kathy Whitworth Invitational, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association. She teamed with Mika Liu to win the inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship in May at Bandon Dunes.

Haley Moore, 16, of Escondido, Calif., was the low amateur in the 2015 ANA Inspiration after earning a spot in the field by winning the ANA Inspiration Champions Junior Challenge.

Kenzie Neisen, 20, of New Prague, Minn., plays golf in the memory of her brothers Sam and Tom, who both passed away in their teens due to Hunter syndrome, a metabolic disorder. Neisen, a rising sophomore at Oklahoma State University, won the 2015 Big 12 Championship less than a month after Tom’s funeral.

Lucy Nunn, 28, of Lawton, Okla., is the assistant women’s golf coach at the University of Houston. Nunn, a reinstated amateur, was previously an assistant coach at the University of Kentucky and played at the University of Arkansas.

Hannah O’Sullivan, 17, of Chandler, Ariz., qualified for the 2012 and 2015 U.S. Women’s Opens. In addition to winning the American Junior Golf Association’s 2015 Rolex Tournament of Champions and Rolex Girls Junior, O’Sullivan won the 2015 Gateway Classic, the opening event on the Symetra Tour, becoming the youngest winner in Tour history and the first amateur winner since 1999. Also in 2015, O’Sullivan teamed with Robynn Ree in the inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball. The duo recorded the first 10-and-8 victory in an 18-hole USGA championship match since 1955 on their way to a runner-up finish. In 2014, O’Sullivan was a semifinalist in the U.S. Women’s Amateur and was a member of the victorious USA Team in the Junior Ryder Cup.

Julia Potter, 27, of Indianapolis, Ind., won the 2013 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship and is the director of marketing for the Indiana Golf Office, having previously worked for the Missouri Golf Association as a P.J. Boatwright Intern. She is a four-time and reigning Indiana Women’s Amateur champion.

Brooke Seay, 14, of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., won the 12-year-old division in the 2013 U.S. Kids Golf World Championship. When she’s not playing golf, she enjoys soccer, tennis and practicing on her pogo stick.

Aneka Seumanutafa, 14, of Frederick, Md., grew up in Hawaii and likes to play the ukulele and dance hula. She won the 2015 Maryland Women’s Amateur and Junior Girls championships, the latter by 17 strokes.

Erica Shepherd, 14, of Greenwood, Ind., is close family friends with Leigh Ann Hardin Creavy, the 1998 Girls’ Junior champion. Erica’s middle name, Leigh, was bestowed in honor of Leigh Ann, and she considers Leigh Ann to be her role model. Shepherd won the 2015 Indiana Girls State Junior Championship and was runner-up to Julia Potter in the 2015 Indiana Women’s Amateur Championship.

Margaret Shirley, 29, of Roswell, Ga., is the reigning U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion, and executive director of Atlanta Junior Golf, a golf organization that hosts 90 one-day golf tournaments in the summer for kids ages 7-18. Shirley began her competitive career in an Atlanta Junior Golf event.

Eun Jeong Seong, 15, of the Republic of Korea, won the 2015 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship last month at Tulsa (Okla.) Country Club, and was the runner-up in the last U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, in 2014 at The Home Course, in DuPont, Wash.

Maddie Szeryk, 19, of Canada, holds dual citizenship in the United States and Canada and is a member of the Canadian national team. She won the 2015 Ontario Women’s Amateur Championship and was runner-up in the 2015 SEC Championship as a member of the Texas A&M University women’s golf team.

Bailey Tardy, 18, of Peachtree Corners, Ga., won the 2015 North & South Women’s Amateur Championship.

Charlotte Thomas, 22, of England, has lived in Singapore since age 13. She won the 2013 English Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, and was runner-up in the 2013 English Women’s Amateur Championship.

Ana Paula Valdes, 18, of Mexico, won the 2015 Women’s Porter Cup.

Monica Vaughn, 20, of Reedsport, Ore., was runner-up in the 2014 Oregon Women’s Amateur Championship. She finished fifth in the individual portion of the 2015 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship, playing for Arizona State University.

Rachel Welker, 21, of Terre Haute, Ind., was a competitive gymnast until she contracted an MRSA infection in her foot. The resulting scarring made gymnastics difficult, leading to her taking up golf.

Bethany Wu, 18, of Diamond Bar, Calif., is last year’s stroke-play medalist in the U.S. Women’s Amateur and won the 2013 and 2014 ANNIKA Invitationals. She was the runner-up in the 2015 North & South Women’s Amateur and Canadian Women’s Amateur championships.

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

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