By Christina Lance, USGA
NORMAN, Okla. – Casey Danielson and local favorite Anne-Catherine Tanguay returned rounds of 4-under 68 en route to the first-round clubhouse lead following the morning wave of the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship being conducted at the 6,351-yard, par-72 Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, Okla.
The 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship consists of 36 holes of stroke play followed by six rounds of match play, with the championship scheduled to conclude with a 36-hole final on Saturday.
The U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Tanguay, a 22-year-old Quebec native, came into the championship with a marked advantage over most of the field; as a rising senior at the University of Oklahoma, Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club is her home course. Tanguay is one of three members of the OU women’s golf team to make the championship, joining 2012 NCAA women’s golf champion Chirapat Jao-Javanil and fellow Canadian Taylor Schmidt.
“Playing on my home course is such a good feeling,” said Tanguay. “I've always had good performances on this golf course, so I was not really expecting anything less.”
Tanguay’s comfort showed on her scorecard, the only blemish being a bogey on the par-4 11th hole. The morning’s strong winds, a remnant of last night’s storm, allowed Tanguay to use her familiarity with the course to her advantage.
“This north wind that just came (on the) back side, it makes the golf course play a little bit harder,” said Tanguay, whose lone collegiate victory came at the 2011 Susie Maxwell Berning Classic. “It makes me more confident and I know which holes I can take advantage of.”
Danielson, 18, of Osceola, Wis., came to Oklahoma straight off a top-10 finish at last week’s AJGA Rolex Girls Junior Championship. She briefly took a solo lead at four under with a birdie at the par-3 sixth hole, but a bogey-birdie-bogey finish dropped her into to a tie with Tanguay.
“The last few holes were a struggle,” said Danielson, who will attend Stanford University in the fall. “(The wind) seemed to pick up and played more into us on the last four holes.”
While Danielson had not played the course prior to arriving on Saturday, she did have some information on the layout. Her sister/caddie, Lindsay, played in two tournaments at Jimmie Austin as a member of the University of Wisconsin golf team from 2009 to 2013.
“It helps to have her on the bag because she knows where to land it and where to hit the drives,” said Danielson, a quarterfinalist at the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur.
Grace Na, a rising senior at Pepperdine University, sits one stroke behind Danielson and Tanguay after a bogey at the par-5 18th knocked her out of a share of the lead.
Defending champion Kyung Kim, 19, of Chandler, Ariz., began her title defense with an even-par 72. Emily Tubert, the 2010 champion, struggled with four bogeys over the outward nine and carded a 5-over 77.
Seventy-eight players remain on the course for the afternoon wave, including 2010 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Doris Chen, 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links runner-up Marissa Dodd and 2013 NCAA champion Annie Park.