Medalist Amy Anderson Continues To Roll At U.S. Girls' Junior
By David Shefter, USGA
Bedminster, N.J. – Even after earning stroke-play medalist honors at the 61st U.S. Girls’ Junior, Amy Anderson felt like an underdog.
The Oxbow, N.D., resident isn’t well known within the junior golf fraternity, mainly because the 17 year old never enters American Junior Golf Association events. Outside of local and state tournaments, the only national competitions she enters are the U.S. Girls’ Junior and PGA Junior Championship.
Add a three-month competitive golf season and Anderson could pretty much walk around Trump National Golf Club this week anonymously.
But if she continues to win, Anderson, who posted a 3-under-par 141 in qualifying, won’t be just another golfer from North Dakota. On a hot and muggy Wednesday, Anderson rolled to a 4-and-3 victory over Harin Lee, 16, of Bayside, N.Y., on the 6,203-yard, par-72 Old Course.
“I don’t have all of their experience,” said Anderson, who advanced to the second round at last year’s Girls’ Junior. “But I think I am doing well.”
Other notables to post first-round wins on Wednesday included defending champion Alexis Thompson, 2008 U.S. Women’s Amateur semifinalist Erynne Lee, two-time U.S. Women’s Open qualifier Victoria Tanco of Argentina, Jessica Korda and both Lendl sisters, 17-year-old Isabelle and 16-year-old Daniela. Daniela scored the biggest upset when she eliminated local favorite Sarah Brown of Lopatcong Township, N.J., in 19 holes. Isabelle defeated 2006 champion Jenny Shin, 16, of Torrance, Calif.
Karen Chung, 14, of Livingston, N.J., the 2008 Girls’ Junior runner-up also advanced with a 1-up win over Emma Talley of Princeton, Ky., and 2007 champion Kristen Park, 16, of Buena Park, Calif., defeated Casey Kennedy of Venice, Fla., 1 up.
In fact, only two of the top eight seeds lost (No. 4 Brown and No. 8 Kelly Shon) and just three of the top 16 were eliminated. China’s Yueer (Cindy) Feng, the No. 12 seed from stroke play, fell to Jackie Chang, 17, of Paradise Valley, Ariz., 1 up.
While Anderson did not score as well as she did during the two rounds of qualifying, she never trailed in her match against Harin Lee. She was the equivalent of three over par, with the usual match-play concessions, in 15 holes.
Anderson is vying to become the first medalist to win the Girls’ Junior since Paraguay’s Julieta Granada in 2004. Only 14 medalists have won the title in 60 previous playings.
“I wasn’t worried about it [being medalist] until someone told me about the jinx,” said Anderson. “I just tried to play my game. No matter what, no one can take that [medal] away.”
Thompson, 14, of Coral Springs, Fla., is vying to become just the third back-to-back winner of the Girls’ Junior. After struggling with the inclement weather conditions on Tuesday, she played 1-under-par golf over 14 holes in eliminating 14-year-old Jisoo Park of Korea. Park advanced to the semifinals of last month’s U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship in Devens, Mass., where she took eventual winning Jennifer Song to the 17th hole.
But it was Thompson’s length in the soft conditions that might have been too much for Park. Consistently out-driving her opponent, Thompson won three of the first five holes and never looked back.
“I hit a lot of good golf shots,” said Thompson, whose older brother, Curtis, was eliminated in the first round of the U.S. Junior Amateur, also being held at Trump National. “She (Park) doesn’t miss a fairway, I’ll tell you that. She hits that driver so straight. Her game is good. It’s just her distance.”
Korda, a 16 year old from Bradenton, Fla., also used power to her advantage in easily beating Seshia-Lei Telles of Tualatin, Ore., 7 and 6. In three rounds at Trump National, the 5-foot-11 junior-to-be at Bradenton Academy, has made only one bogey, which came in Tuesday's dismal weather on the New Course. She had two birdies on Wednesday, finishing the match by holing a 32-foot birdie putt at the par-4 12th hole.
The daughter of 1998 Australian Open tennis champion Petr Korda said she got some well-heeded advice from dad about match play.
“He just told me to rip the other person’s head off,” said Korda, whose last match-play experience came two years ago in the European Team Championships when she was representing the Czech Republic (she had dual Czech and U.S. citizenship at the time). “In stroke play you’re playing against the course. In match play, it’s like you are on the tennis court playing against another opponent. You can never control what the other person does, but every time the other person makes a mistake you try to risk it and go for it.”
On Tuesday, Daniela Lendl spent some 14 hours at the course. When she finished her final qualifying round at 13-over 157 in the morning, she had to wait to see if it would be good enough to make match play. Several hours later with the sun fading fast, Lendl was involved in an 8-for-5 playoff. Her reward for making match play was Brown, who shot 2-under 142 in qualifying.
Trailing by a hole, Lendl made a 40-foot par putt at the ninth to square the match.
“I think that was a big momentum change,” said Lendl.
At the par-5 19th hole, Brown hit her third shot to 8 feet and Lendl followed by stuffing her shot to 4 feet. Brown missed and Lendl converted.
“I need to take a nap,” said Lendl, who faces Victoria Park of Irvine, Calif., in the second round. “I’ve been at the golf course way too much. I need to catch up on my sleep after last night.”
The remaining 32 players will play their second-round matches Thursday morning on the 6,289-yard, par-72 New Course. Third-round matches also are scheduled for Thursday on the New Course. The quarterfinals and semis are slated for Friday on the New Course, with the 36-hole final set for Saturday, also on the New Course.
The U.S. Girls’ Junior is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
David Shefter is a USGA Digital Media staff writer. E-mail him with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
First-Round Match-Play Results
Bedminster, N.J. – Results from the first round of match play at the 61st U.S. Girls’ Junior at Trump National Golf Club. Matches contested on the 6,203-yard, par-72 Old Course:
Round of 64
Amy Anderson, Oxbow, N.D. (141) def. Harin Lee, Bayside, N.Y. (157), 4 and 3
Isabelle Lendl, Goshen, Conn. (152) def. Jenny Shin, Torrance, Calif. (152), 3 and 2
Alison Lee, Valencia, Calif. (149) def. Allison Emrey, Charlotte, N.C. (155), 2 and 1
Haley Andreas, Pacific Grove, Calif. (155) def. Casey Isagawa, Wailuku, Hawaii (149), 2 up
Ginger Howard, Bradenton, Fla. (146) def. Gabi Oubre, Mobile, Ala. (156), 4 and 3
Karen Chung, Livingston, N.J. (151) vs. Emma Talley, Princeton, Ky. (153), 1 up
Victoria Tanco, Argentina (147) def. Alina Ching, Honolulu, Hawaii (156), 7 and 6
Kendall Martindale, Jefferson City, Tenn. (153) def. Hannah Suh, San Jose, Calif. (150), 6 and 5
Daniela Lendl, Goshen, Conn. (157) def. Sarah Brown, Lopatcong Township, N.J. (142), 19 holes
Victoria Park, Irvine, Calif. (151) def. Casey Grice, College Station, Texas (152), 21 holes
Kimberly Kaufman, Clark, S.D. (148) def. Kaira Martin, Paradise Valley, Ariz., 19 holes
Casie Cathrea, Castro Valley, Calif. (149) def. Lindsey Weaver, Scottsdale, Ariz., 3 and 2
Ani Gulugian, Irvine, Calif. (143) def. Anne Cheng, Torrance, Calif. (157), 6 and 4
Kristin Coleman, Rolling Hills Estates, Calif. (152) def. Soobin Kim, Canada (151), 1 up
Jackie Chang, Paradise Valley, Ariz. (156) def. Yuerr (Cindy) Feng, People’s Rep. of China (147), 1 up
Luz Alejandra Cangrejo, Colombia (149) def. Devon Brown, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. (153), 1 up
Erynne Lee, Silverdale, Wash. (142) def. Veronica Valerio, Temecula, Calif. (157), 5 and 4
Doris Chen, Bradenton, Fla. (152) def. Katherine Perry, Cary, N.C. (152), 2 and 1
Rebecca-Lee Benthem, Canada (149) def. Dottie Ardina, Philippines (156), 4 and 3
Suzie Lee, Long Island, N.Y. (155) def. Austin Ernst, Seneca, S.C. (149), 3 and 2
Alexis Thompson, Coral Springs, Fla. (145) def. Jisoo Park, Korea (156), 5 and 4
Kyung Kim, Chandler, Ariz. (151) def. Kayli Quinton, Cypress, Texas (153), 7 and 6
Stephanie Meadow, Northern Ireland (147) def. Serena Aoki, Japan (156), 5 and 3
Arlya Jutanugarn, Thailand (149) def. Heather Proctor, Silver Spring, Fla. (153), 5 and 3
Jessica Korda, Bradenton, Fla. (142) def. Seshia-Lei Telles, Tualatin, Ore. (157), 7 and 6
Nicole Zhang, Canada (152) def. Annie Park, Levittown, N.Y. (151), 3 and 1
Kristen Park, Buena Park, Calif. (149) def. Casey Kennedy, Venice, Fla. (156), 1 up
Kimberly Kim, Hilo, Hawaii (149) def. Kyle Roig, Pembroke Pines, Fla. (154), 3 and 2
Marika Tumangan, San Jose, Calif. (156) def. Kelly Shon, Port Washington, N.Y. (144), 3 and 2
Daffodil Sanchez, Mesa, Ariz. (151) def. Lisa McCloskey, Houston, Texas (152), 1 up
Danielle Kang, Thousand Oaks, Calif. (147) def. Whitney Rhodes, Staunton, Va. (156), 5 and 4
Jennifer Johnson, La Quinta, Calif. (149) def. Seo Hee Moon, Mukilteo, Wash. (153), 3 and 2
Pairings And Starting Times For Second-Round Matches
Bedminster, N.J. – Pairings and starting times for the second round of match play on Thursday at the 61st U.S. Girls’ Junior being conducted at Trump National Golf Club. Matches to be played on 6,289-yard, par-72 New Course. Note: Third-round matches also to be held Thursday on the New Course. (All times EDT)
Round of 32
7:30 a.m. – Amy Anderson, Oxbow, N.D. (141) vs. Isabelle Lendl, Goshen, Conn. (152)
7:39 a.m. – Alison Lee, Valencia, Calif. (149) vs. Haley Andreas, Pacific Grove, Calif. (155)
7:48 a.m. – Ginger Howard, Bradenton, Fla. (146) vs. Karen Chung, Livingston, N.J. (151)
7:57 a.m. – Victoria Tanco, Argentina (147) vs. Kendall Martindale, Jefferson City, Tenn. (153)
8:06 a.m. – Daniela Lendl, Goshen, Conn. (157) vs. Victoria Park, Irvine, Calif. (151)
8:15 a.m. – Kimberly Kaufman, Clark, S.D. (148) vs. Casie Cathrea, Castro Valley, Calif. (149)
8:24 a.m. – Ani Gulugian, Irvine, Calif. (143) vs. Kristin Coleman, Rolling Hills Estates, Calif. (156)
8:33 a.m. – Jackie Chang, Paradise Valley, Ariz. (156) vs. Luz Alejandra Cangrejo, Colombia (149)
8:42 a.m. – Erynne Lee, Silverdale, Wash. (142) vs. Doris Chen, Bradenton, Fla. (152)
8:51 a.m. – Rebecca-Lee Benthem, Canada (149) vs. Suzie Lee, Long Island, N.Y. (155)
9 a.m. – Alexis Thompson, Coral Springs, Fla. (145) vs. Kyung Kim, Chandler, Ariz. (151)
9:09 a.m. – Stephanie Meadow, Northern Ireland (147) vs. Ariya Jutanugarn, Thailand (149)
9:18 a.m. – Jessica Korda, Bradenton, Fla. (142) vs. Nicole Zhang, Canada (152)
9:27 a.m. – Kristen Park, Buena Park, Calif. (149) vs. Kimberly Kim, Hilo, Hawaii (149)
9:36 a.m. – Mariko Tumangan, San Jose, Calif. (156) vs. Daffodil Sanchez, Mesa, Ariz. (151)
9:45 a.m. – Danielle Kang, Thousand Oaks, Calif. (147) vs. Jennifer Johnson, La Quinta, Calif. (149)