Storylines: Women's World Amateur Team Championship

Karuizawa 72 Golf East, Karuizawa, Japan

By USGA, International Golf Federation
September 1, 2014

2013 U.S. Women's Amateur champion Emma Talley (pictured) and teammate Alison Lee gained valuable experience in international team competition in June, when they helped the USA to victory over Great Britain & Ireland in the Curtis Cup Match. (USGA/Darren Carroll)

NUMBER OF TEAMS – A total of 50 teams – the third-highest ever – have entered the 26th Women’s World Amateur Team Championship. The record is 53 in Turkey in 2012, and 52 competed in 2010 in Argentina.

DEFENDING CHAMPION – The Republic of Korea is vying to become the first team to win three consecutive WWATC titles since the USA won in 1980, 1982, and 1984.

HOST NATION – Japan is playing in its 26th Women’s World Amateur Team Championship. Its best finishes are fourth in 1984 and 1990 and T4 in 1988 and 2004.

50th ANNIVERSARY -- The Women's World Amateur Team Championship is celebrating 50 years in 2014. The first championship, won by France, was played 1-4 Oct. 1964 at St. Germain Golf Club, St. Germain (Paris), France. Twenty five teams competed that year and each of those nations is represented at the 2014 championship except Chile and Bermuda.

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McCORMACK MEDAL WINNER – Australia’s Minjee Lee, 18, is the winner of the Mark H. McCormack Medal for 2014, for holding the No. 1 position in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking™ at the conclusion of the ranking period. Lee tied for 22nd at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort & Country Club. Also in 2014, she was second in the Australian Ladies Masters, won the Victorian Open and defended her title at the Australian Amateur. Lee was the champion at the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior.

WOMEN’S WORLD AMATEUR GOLF RANKING™ (Members of the Top 25 playing in WWATC)

Through week of Aug. 24

1 – Minjee Lee (AUS)

2 – Brooke Henderson (CAN)

3 – Alison Lee (USA)

4 – Nanna Madsen (DEN)

5 – Celine Boutier (FRA)

6 – Su-Hyun Oh (AUS)

9 – Linnea Strom (SWE)

10 – Gabriela Lopez (MEX)

11 – Marijosse Navarro (MEX)

15 – Marta Sanz (ESP)

19 – Emma Talley (USA)

21 – Kristen Gillman (USA)

25 – Minami Katsu (JPN)

YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES -- Six of the top 10 finishers at the recent Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, are competing in the 2014 WWATC. Gold medalist So-Young Lee, of Korea, silver medalist Ssu-Chia Cheng, of Chinese Taipei, as well as Olivia Cowan, of Germany and Virginia Elena Carta, of Italy (tied for fourth), Emily Kristine Pederson, of Denmark (sixth) and Julianne Alvarez, of New Zealand (seventh), were among the top finishers in late August.

In addition, Linnea Strom and Marcus Kinhult of Sweden won the gold medal in the mixed team event. Korea, with So-Young Lee and Eun Ho Youm, was second and Italy, with Virginia Elena Carta and Renato Paratore, was third.

USA WOMEN’S NCAA TEAM CHAMPIONS – Duke University’s 2014 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I championship team is represented at the championship by Celine Boutier of France. She was also named the Women’s Golf Coaches Association Player of the Year.

USA COLLEGE ALL-AMERICANS -- Following is a listing of the 12 players from the 2014 WWATC who were named to the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) All-America teams for 2013-2014:

First Team
France -- Celine Boutier, Duke University

Spain – Noemi Jimenez, Arizona State University

Norway -- Tonje Daffinrud, University of Denver

USA -- Alison Lee, UCLA

Mexico -- Gaby Lopez, University of Arkansas

Second Team
Finland -- Matilda Castren, Florida State University

Mexico -- Marijosse Navarro, Texas A&M University

Honorable Mention
Canada -- Augusta James, North Carolina State University

England -- Bronte Law, UCLA

Canada -- Brittany Marchand, North Carolina State University

Sweden -- Louise Ridderstrom, UCLA

USA -- Emma Talley, University of Alabama

CURTIS CUP 2014 – The United States of America won the 2014 Curtis Cup Match, 13-7 over Great Britain and Ireland in June at St. Louis Country Club. Eilidh Briggs and Gemma Dryburgh of Scotland, and Gabriella Cowley and Bronte Law of England represented Great Britain and Ireland. Law was also on GB&I’s winning team in 2012. The two USA players from the Curtis Cup Match in the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship are Emma Talley and Alison Lee.

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA CONNECTION -- The Women’s World Amateur Team Championship has a deep connection to the University of Florida. Four Gator players and both of its coaches are current or former participants.

Ursa Orehek, 21, of Slovenia, Karolina Vickova, 21, of the Czech Republic and Maria Torres, 19, of Puerto Rico are players in 2014. Head coach Emily Glaser played for the USA in 2002 and assistant coach Janice Olivencia played for Puerto Rico in 2004 and Camila Hedberg played for Spain in 2012.

THREE FROM LSU, FLORIDA STATE, UCLA -- Three American colleges have three players at the WWATC:

LSU – Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden, Nadine Dreher of Austria and Caroline Nistrup of Denmark

UCLA – Louise Ridderstrom of Sweden, Bronte Law of England and Alison Lee of USA

Florida State – sisters Kim and Morgane Metraux of Switzerland and Matilda Castren of Finland

OLDEST AND YOUNGEST – Beatriz Arenas, 66, of Guatemala, is the oldest player in the field. This is her 11th appearance at the WWATC as either a player or captain. This is her eighth time as a player and third as a captain. She is a painter, who specializes in nature and animals.

Four 14-year-olds are believed to be the youngest competitors: Jo-Hua Hung, of Chinese Taipei; Maria Ines Barbosa, of Portugal;Dorota Zalewska, of Poland; and Valeria Pacheco, of Puerto Rico.

LPGA QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT -- Three players in the WWATC advanced to the second stage of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament (26-29 Aug.) in Rancho Mirage, Calif., in the USA. Alison Lee of the USA posted the lowest amateur score (T4) at 5-under-par 283. Also advancing were Augusta James of Canada (T14, 287) and Marta Sanz Barrio of Spain (T67, 296).

STORYLINES (Alphabetical By Country)

AUSTRALIA

High school student Eui Kyung “Shelly” Shin, 16, won the 2014 New South Wales Junior Championship and was a semifinalist at the 2014 U.S. Girls’ Junior in July.

In 2014, Su-Hyun Oh, 18, played at the British Women’s Open (missing the cut) and the Kraft Nabisco (T51). She also was second at the Canadian Women’s Amateur and a quarterfinalist at the U.S. Women’s Amateur.

BELGIUM

Captain Christian Moyson is serving as the team leader for the fifth time (2006-2014, consecutively). He is also the general secretary of the Royal Belgian Golf Federation.

Leslie Cloots, 19, is playing in her second WWATC and was the runner-up at the 2014 British Ladies Amateur. Her father is Belgian and her mother is Chinese.

BRAZIL

Clara Teixeira, 21, speaks four languages – English, Portuguese, Spanish and German. She played in the 2012 WWATC with her sister, Vitoria.

CANADA

Brooke Mackenzie Henderson, 16, is representing Canada for the second time and is currently No.2 in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking™. He was the low amateur at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open (T10 after a final-round 69) and runner-up at the U.S. Women’s Amateur. This season, she was also won the Porter Cup and a Canadian Women’s Tour Ontario stop.

Augusta James was born on April 8, 1993 on the first day of the 57th Masters Tournament. She is named for Augusta National Golf Club.

COLOMBIA

Captain Felipe Harker is participating in his 13th World Amateur Team Championship. He was a five-time participant as a player and has been Colombia’s captain for eight championships (all since 2000). He is an orthopedic physician and the executive director of the Colombian Golf Federation.

DENMARK

Captain Torben Nyehuus is serving in the position for the fourth time (2008-2014). He was a caddie at the British Open Championship in 2010 and 2011.

FINLAND

Captain Matti Lindholm played 15 seasons of American football in Europe and led Finland to five European championship games, with three titles. He was inducted in the inaugural class of the Finnish American Football Hall of Fame in 2004 and the league’s Defender of the Year Trophy is named in his honor.

FRANCE

Celine Boutier and Mathilda Cappeliez both competed in the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open.

GERMANY

Pia Halbig, who played in the 2008 and 2010 WWATCs, is serving as captain for the first time. In her business life, she is the press spokeswoman for Sky Deutschland.

ITALY

Virginia Elena Carta, 17, attended circus school for three years when she was very young. She won the German Boys and Girls Open in 2014, where she shot 66, her lowest competitive round. She tied for fourth at the recent Youth Olympic Games in China.

Captain Anna Roscio is married to 2005 U.S. Amateur winner and European Tour player Edoardo Molinari. Her husband played for Italy in the 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004 World Amateur Team Championships She was also captain in 2012.

MEXICO

Captain Marcela Coughlan is the sister of the Mexican men’s captain, Jorge Coughlin, who led the team to a silver-medal finish in Turkey in 2012. This is her fourth WWATC as captain.

Marijosse Navarro, who will turn 18 on 6 Sept., was the runner-up at the 2014 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship. She has already completed a semester of study at Texas A&M University after graduating from high school a year and half early. She has won three Mexican Women’s Amateur titles.

NEW ZEALAND

Zoe-Beth Brake, 22, served for 2½ years in New Zealand’s Royal Navy before enrolling at Ohio State University, where she is a sophomore and was named to the all-Big Ten Conference team in 2014.

PHILIPPINES

In 2014, Princess Superal, 17, won the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship as well as the 27th Sea Games title.

POLAND

Dominika Gradecka will celebrate her 18th birthday on the day of the third round of the WWATC (5 Sept.). She is the youngest captain at this year’s championship.

PUERTO RICO

Captain Laura Diaz works for The First Tee national office in St. Augustine, Fla., in the USA. She currently oversees logistics for approximately 15 national events, including the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach (USA), during which she is the junior tournament director. She competed for Puerto Rico three times and is serving as captain for the second time.

Valeria Pacheco, 14, loves reading and writing. When she was in fifth grade, a poem that she wrote was selected for publication in the “Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans.”

REPUBLIC OF KOREA

So-Young Lee, 17, was the individual champion and gold-medal winner at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, in late August.

SCOTLAND

Gabrielle Macdonald, 21, won the Scottish Ladies Amateur in May at Prestwick, the first site of the British Open Championship in 1860, and calls the victory at that historic venue her most memorable golf experience.

CHINESE TAIPEI

Captain Jui-Hui Lee played on the Japan Ladies Tour. She competed in the WWATC in 1992 as a player.

Ssu-Chia Cheng, 16, was the silver medalist at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, in late August.

UKRAINE

Galyna Zagorodnia, 25, is a Ph.D student at Kiev National Economic University and is playing in her first WWATC. She was a Ukrainian champion in rhythmic gymnastics.

Valeriia Sapronova, 20, is playing in her second WWATC. In Turkey in 2012, she played left-handed. In Japan in 2014, she will play right-handed. She made the decision to switch in 2013.

USA

Alison Lee, 19, was a quarterfinalist at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur last month and a member of the USA’s winning team in the Curtis Cup Match in June. She has played in three U.S. Women’s Open Championships, including her first at age 14 in 2009. In 2014, she won the North & South Amateur and was the Pac-12 Conference’s Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year.

Emma Talley, 20, won the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 2013 and was on the winning USA Team in the Curtis Cup Match in June.

Kristen Gillman, 16, won the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur, defeating Brooke Mackenzie Henderson of Canada, 2 up, by birdieing five of the final 10 holes in the 36-hole championship match.

Captain Martha Lang played on the 1992 USA Team in the Curtis Cup Match and was captain of the 1996 Team. She won the 1988 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur and was chairman of the USGA’s Women’s Committee in 2011 and 2012.

VENEZUELA

Nicky Ferre, 20, who was a second-team All-America player at Barry University in 2013-14, was a competitive horseback rider before she switched her passion to golf.

WALES

Katie Bradbury, 20, played on the Welsh Junior Girls squash team from age 13-18.

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