GLEN COVE, N.Y. (August 4, 2014) – Su-Hyun Oh, 18, of Australia, shot a 4-under 66 on Monday and owns a one-stroke lead following the first round of stroke-play qualifying at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, being held at the 6,297-yard, par-70 Nassau Country Club.
“I’m playing quite solid,” said Oh, a quarterfinalist at the 2013 Women’s Amateur. “Just giving myself a lot of opportunities and making a few.”
Oh, eighth in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking™, carded six birdies against two bogeys. Her 40-foot birdie from off the green at the par-4 11th provided a spark to her inward nine.
“I thought, just get it somewhere there and it just went in,” said Oh, runner-up at last month’s Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship. “It felt good. I’ll take it any day.”
Oh’s 66 is tied for the third-lowest 18-hole score in championship history, and is a Nassau women’s course record. Others to card a 66 at the Women’s Amateur include Natalie Gulbis (1999), Amanda Blumenherst (2008) and Lydia Ko (2011 and 2012). Yumi Matsubara set the championship record of 64 last year at the Country Club of Charleston in South Carolina.
Hannah O’Sullivan, 16, of Paradise Valley, Ariz., sits in solo second at 3-under 67. O’Sullivan, who finished third at last week’s Junior PGA Championship, closed with four birdies over her final six holes.
“I just started hitting the ball better,” said O’Sullivan, who needed only 25 putts on the round. “I was putting great all day and just gave myself better opportunities and drained the putts.”
Megan Khang, 16, of Rockland, Mass., holds third position after a 68. She is followed by a quartet of players tied for fourth at 69: 2014 U.S. Girls’ Junior quarterfinalists Bethany Wu, 17, of Diamond Bar, Calif., and Andrea Lee, 15, of Hermosa Beach, Calif.; 2014 USA Curtis Cup Team member Alison Lee, 19, of Valencia, Calif.; and 2013 Girls’ Junior medalist Bailey Tardy, 17, of Norcross, Va.
Princess Mary Superal, the 17-year-old Filipina who won last month’s U.S. Girls’ Junior, returned an even-par 70. She is tied for eighth with three others, including 2014 Girls’ Junior medalist Angel Yin, 15, of Arcadia, Calif., and 20-year-old Celine Boutier, of France, a member of the Duke University women’s golf team that won the 2014 NCAA championship.
Local favorite Annie Park, 19, of Levittown, N.Y., shot 2-over 72. Park, who has been experimenting with several putters the last few weeks, wasn’t happy with the model she used in Monday’s round, which included a double bogey on the par-4 first hole.
“I thought it was going to go better today because I felt better over the putts,” said Park, who tried a face-balanced putter for the first time two days ago and plans to change to a different style for Tuesday’s second round. “I just couldn’t release the putts.”
Park is one of 16 players tied for 22nd. She is joined by four-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Meghan Stasi, 2014 Canadian Women’s Amateur champion Augusta James and 2014 Girls’ Junior runner-up Marijosse Navarro.
Defending champion Emma Talley, 20, of Princeton, Ky., struggled in the first round of her title defense. Talley, who made the cut at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open and RICOH Women’s British Open championships, carded six bogeys en route to a 76 and is tied for 86th. Others at 76 include Talley’s 2014 USA Curtis Cup teammate Erynne Lee and Mathilda Cappeliez, who made the cut at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open.
The last two U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links champions did not fare well on Monday. Fumie (Alice) Jo, who in July became the first player from the People’s Republic of China to win a USGA championship, carded seven bogeys and a double bogey for a 79. Lauren Diaz-Yi, the 2013 WAPL champion, withdrew with a wrist injury following her 79, which included six bogeys and two double bogeys.
Six-time USGA champion Ellen Port, who captained the victorious USGA Curtis Cup Team in June, finished at 12-over 82.
Doris Chen, the reigning NCAA Division I women’s champion and the 2010 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion, withdrew following nine holes, citing an ankle injury.
The 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship consists of 36 holes of stroke play followed by six rounds of match play. The championship is scheduled to conclude with a 36-hole final at 8:30 a.m. EDT on Sunday.
The U.S. Women’s Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
-story, photo courtesy of USGA