USGA Women's Amateur: Medalist Mackenzie Advances

North Plains, Ore. (August 9, 2006) – Medalist Paige Mackenzie, 23, of Yakima, Wash., advanced to the second round of match play in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship with a 3-and-2 win over Leah Wigger of Louisville, Ky., at the 6,380-yard, par-71 Witch Hollow Course of Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.

Jane Park follows her ball out of a greenside bunker on the 16th hole Wednesday. (Steve Gibbons/USGA)
Mackenzie’s USA Curtis Cup teammates didn’t fare as well, as four of the six lost in the first round. Jane Park of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., a two-time USA Curtis Cup player and the 2004 Women’s Amateur champion, was upset by Lauren Espinosa, 19, of Hickory Creek, Texas, 1 up.

The other Curtis Cup players who lost included Jenny Suh, 20, of Fairfax, Va., who was defeated by Kristen Svicarovich, 21, the local favorite from Hillsboro, Ore., 4 and 2. Taylor Leon, 19, of Dallas, Texas, lost to Carlota Ciganda, 16, of Spain, 5 and 4. Long-hitting Amanda Blumenherst, 19, of Scottsdale, Ariz., was upset by Mari Chun, 18, of Pearl City, Hawaii, 1 up.

The other remaining USA Curtis Cup player, Jennie Lee, narrowly escaped defeat. Lee, 19, of Huntington Beach, Calif., managed to win on the 19th hole over Joanne Lee, 17, of San Carlos, Calif.

Mackenzie said she and Wigger played “a lot of good golf.” The qualifying medalist, Mackenzie said she wants to finish out the championship. “I know I beat everyone in stroke play, so far, so it’s just carrying it forward,” she said.

Park came from two holes down to even the match with Espinosa at the 16th hole. Both players parred the 17th. Park missed the green of the par-5 18th and chipped to within four feet of the hole. Espinosa faced an eight-foot birdie putt and rimmed the hole, making her par. Park then missed her short par putt and the match ended. Both players said that Espinosa had a few favorable bounces.

“On the seventh hole, I hit it left off the tee and I knew it was going into the bunker,” said Espinosa. “It must have hit a sprinkler head because it bounced into the middle of the fairway.”

“I was never up in the match,” said Park. “I was two holes down at one point and I was trying to get back into it. She was getting these amazing bounces, so it was her day.

“I’ve had a really good amateur career,” said Park, who now plans to turn professional. “It’s sad that it has to end this way, but I’ve got my whole life ahead of me.”

Amanda Blumenherst shows a disbelieving face after missing a short birdie putt on the 13th hole. (Steve Gibbons/USGA)
Park tied for 10th in the 2006 U.S. Women’s Open. She was the runner-up in the 2003 U.S. Women’s Amateur as a 16 year old, and was also the runner-up at the 2004 U.S. Girls’ Junior.

Svicarovich, who lives just a 10-minute drive from Pumpkin Ridge, upset Suh, who struggled as a Curtis Cupper but was the more highly acclaimed player. “It’s all golf at the end of the day,” said Svicarovich.

Chun was out-driven 50 to 60 yards by Blumenherst, but squeaked out the win on the par-5 18th hole. “I knew she could reach the par 5s in two shots and it would take me three shots,” said Chun. “There were definite chances for her to turn it around on the back nine, so I just kept grinding.”

Blumenherst indeed hit the green of the par-5 18th in two shots and two-putted for a birdie. Chun twice backed away from her 10-foot birdie putt, which would win the match. “I knew that I better make it,” said Chun. “I lost the line twice and I had to back off.” After her caddie, her mother Lani, whispered, “Believe in yourself,” Chun made the putt to win.

The lone remaining Curtis Cup player from Great Britain and Ireland is Martina Gillen, 24, of Ireland. Gillen defeated Vicky Hurst, 16, of Melbourne, Fla., runner-up in the 2006 U.S. Girls’ Junior, on the 19th hole.

The Women’s Amateur, one of 13 national championships conducted by the United States Golf Association, continues with second- and third-round matches on Thursday. The championship concludes with a scheduled 36-hole final on Sunday.

Story written by Rhonda Glenn, Manager of USGA Communications. E-mail her with questions or comments at rglenn@usga.org.

North Plains, Ore. – Results from the first round of match play Wednesday in the United States Women’s Amateur Championship at the 6,380-yard, par-71 Witch Hollow Course of Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.

Round of 64

Upper Bracket
Paige Mackenzie, Yakima, Wash. (139) def. Leah Wigger, Louisville, Ky. (151), 3 and 2
Jennie Lee, Huntington Beach, Calif. (147) def. Joanne Lee, San Carlos, Calif. (147), 19 holes
Sydnee Michaels, Temecula, Calif. (149) def. Irene Cho, La Habra, Calif. (145), 3 and 2
Alison Walshe, Westford, Mass. (145) def. Kristina Wong, Bradenton, Fla. (149), 6 and 5
Katharina Schallenberg, Germany (143) def. Lauren Johnson, The Woodlands, Texas (150), 5 and 3
Seo-Jae Lee, Korea (146) def. Jessie Vincent, Burlington, N.C. (148), 6 and 5
Cydney Clanton, Concord, N.C. (150) def. Isabelle Lendl, Bradenton, Fla. (144), 19 holes
Esther Choe, Scottsdale, Ariz. (148) def. Christine Song, Fullerton, Calif. (146), 2 up
Ayaka Kaneko, Honolulu, Hawaii (142) def. Jenna Pearson, Wheaton, Ill. (151), 21 holes
Pei-Lin Yu, Chinese Taipei (146) def. Stephanie Kono, Honolulu, Hawaii (147), 5 and 4
Kristen Svicarovich, Hillsboro, Ore. (149) def. Jenny Suh, Fairfax, Va. (145), 4 and 2
Jennifer Osborn, Huntington Beach, Calif. (146) def. Hannah Jun, San Diego, Calif. (148), 1 up
Mi Jung Hur, Korea (142) def. Lara Tennant, Portland, Ore. (151), 6 and 4
Maria Jose Uribe, Colombia (147) def. Jane Rah, Torrance, Calif. (146), 4 and 3
Candace Schepperle, Birmingham, Ala. (145) def. Hunter Ross, Manakin Sabot, Va. (149), 2 and 1
Stacy Lewis, The Woodlands, Texas (148) def. Kiran Matharu, England (146), 2 and 1

Lower Bracket
Tiffany Joh, San Diego, Calif. (141) def. Alice Kim, Beverly Hills, Calif. (151), 4 and 3
Jennie Arseneault, Grinnell, Iowa (147) def. Laura Luethke, Fresno, Calif. (147), 19 holes
Mari Chun, Pearl City, Hawaii (149) def. Amanda Blumenherst, Scottsdale, Ariz. (145), 1 up
Carlota Ciganda, Spain (145) def. Taylor Leon, Dallas, Texas (149), 5 and 4
Ashley Knoll, The Woodlands, Texas (143) def. Maggie Simons, Raleigh, N.C. (150), 4 and 3
Hana Jang, Korea (146) def. Dewi Claire Schreefel, Netherlands (148), 2 and 1
Lindy Duncan, Plantation, Fla. (144) def. Kristie Smith, Australia (150), 7 and 5
Stacey Kim, Columbus, Ga. (148) def. Taylore Karle, Scottsdale, Ariz. (146), 6 and 4
In Kyung Kim, Korea (141) def. Theresa Paik, Silver Spring, Md. (151), 4 and 3
Eileen Vargas, Colombia (147) def. Melissa Reid, England (146), 19 holes
Mina Harigae, Monterey, Calif. (149) def. Lauren Mielbrecht, Gulf Stream, Fla. (145), 1 up
Martina Gillen, Ireland (145) def. Vicky Hurst, Melbourne, Fla. (148), 19 holes
Lauren Espinosa, Hickory Creek, Texas (150) def. Jane Park, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (142), 1 up
Kimberly Kim, Hilo, Hawaii (146) def. Megan Grehan, Mamaroneck, N.Y. (147), 2 and 1
Alison Whitaker, Australia (144) def. Naomi Edwards, England (149), 4 and 3
Margaret Shirley, Roswell, Ga. (148) def. Ya-Ni Tseng, Chinese Taipei (146), 3 and 1
Latest in 

Amateurgolf.com, Inc.
6965 El Camino Real 105-631
Carlsbad, CA 92011