U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN
Round 4: 9 Notes, Quotes, Facts and Figures July 16, 2017 | Bedminster, N.J. By Michael Trostel, USGA

Rachel Heck, 15, got to play her final round with Lexi Thompson on Sunday. (USGA/Chris Keane)

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Fifteen-year-old Rachel Heck, the youngest player to make the cut in the U.S. Women’s Open in four years, on her experience playing with Lexi Thompson on Sunday: “It’s something I'll remember for the rest of my life. She is one of my role models, so to play with her was a dream come true.” Heck and Thompson both shot even-par 72 in the final round.

Sung Hyun Park finished in the top-10 in three major statistical categories: driving distance (2nd), greens in regulation (tied for seventh) and putting (tied for eighth).

This is the second consecutive year that the winner of the U.S. Women’s Open trailed by seven strokes through 36 holes – and Sung Hyun Park was involved in both comebacks. Park (143) trailed Shanshan Feng (136) at the halfway point this year, while Brittany Lang (143) was seven behind Park (136) in 2016 at CordeValle. Park, on how her experience in 2016 helped her this year: “Last year, I think toward the end I was getting anxious and put pressure on myself. But this year, thanks to that great experience that I had, I learned more and was able to finish strong.”

Park on her nickname, Dak Gong: “It literally means, ‘shut your mouth and attack.’ Last year, my fans gave me that nickname because I guess I am more aggressive in my play than others. I'm happy for it.

Hye-Jin Choi’s 9-under 279 is the lowest 72-hole total by an amateur in U.S. Women’s Open history. The previous record was 283 by Grace Park, who finished tied for eighth at Old Waverly Golf Club in 1999. It is the ninth time an amateur has finished runner-up in the championship, and the first since Morgan Pressel and Brittany Lang tied for second in 2005.

So Yeon Ryu’s tie for third is her fourth top-5 finish in the U.S. Women’s Open in the last five years. Ryu, the 2011 champion, has never finished outside the top-25 in her eight championship appearances.

Amy Yang’s tie for eighth is her seventh top-10 finish in her last eight U.S. Women’s Open starts. She has yet to win a major championship, but has 17 top-10 finishes. It is her fifth top-10 finish in the last six majors she has played in.

While 21 players from the United States made the cut, there were no Americans in the top 10 for the first time in the championship’s history.

Marina Alex, who tied for 11th, had the best finish among Americans. The 26-year-old grew up in Wayne, N.J., less than 40 miles from Bedminster, and had strong support from the fans: “My whole family was here. I even saw my first grade teacher, Mrs. Friedman. I probably hadn't seen her since second grade. It was so much fun to have a ton of people come out to watch.”

Michael Trostel is the senior content producer for the USGA. Email him at mtrostel@usga.org.

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