BANDON, Ore. (June 29, 2011) -- Stroke-play medalist Cheyenne Woods of Phoenix, Ariz., easily won her first-round match on Wednesday at the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, which was conducted at the 6,098-yard, par-71 Old Macdonald course at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.
In the day’s first match, Woods, 20, only needed 15 holes to defeat Ashley Edwards, 21, of Oakley, Calif., by a 4-and-3 margin. By the sixth hole, Woods had amassed a 4-up lead over Edwards, who only managed a few hours of sleep following a six-hole playoff battle to get into the field that ended at 9:39 p.m. Tuesday.
“I started out pretty good,” said Woods, the niece of nine-time USGA champion Tiger Woods. “I had a birdie early on, and I think I was 2-up through two. So I started out good. I was just playing steady.”
Woods, who won the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference championship for Wake Forest University, will face 14-year-old Bethany Wu of Diamond Bar, Calif., in the second round of match play.
Also enjoying her Wednesday was 15-year-old Julie Yang of Mesa, Ariz. Yang, who was born in South Korea, never trailed in her match with Colombia’s Maria Ronderos and rolled to an easy 8-and-6 victory.
Yang spent a year-and-a-half at a boarding school in Edinburgh, Scotland, and has put the links-golf knowledge she amassed to good use over these Scottish-inspired Bandon Dunes courses.
“I think I had a lucky start, a good start,” said Yang, a competitor at the 2010 Ricoh Women’s British Open. “I just kept doing that all the way through. I think until the sixth hole I was 6 up, and I just kept going 1 up, 1 up, 1 up. I kept telling myself not to take it for granted, so I stayed focused and had good results.”
Yang will meet 13-year-old Mariel Galdiano of Pearl City, Hawaii, in the second round on Thursday morning. Galdiano is the youngest qualifier for next week’s U.S. Women’s Open at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Quick matches were the norm on Wednesday, with 11 of the 32 matches not going past the 15th hole. Only four matches went to extra holes.
Grace Na of Oakland, Calif., was among those who cruised through the first round. The 18-year-old, who plays for Pepperdine University, bounced back from a challenging Tuesday at Bandon Trails with a 7-and-6 victory over Kimberly Johnson, 22, of San Diego, Calif.
“I had a great birdie start, but that was only the beginning,” said Na. “On number nine, I had a 35-foot putt to save par and that definitely got me going and gave me goose bumps. I’ll want to recreate that tomorrow.”
Defending champion Emily Tubert, 20, of Burbank, Calif., trailed early in her match with Mandi Morrow, but ultimately pulled away for a 4-and-2 victory. Tubert had a doubly good day, as it was announced on Wednesday that she has received a sponsor’s exemption into the LPGA’s NW Arkansas Championship in early September.
Also moving into the second round was 2010 semifinalist Ellen Mueller, while 2010 runner-up Lisa McCloskey lost to Catherine Dolan of Ballwin, Mo., by a 2-and-1 margin. Also falling was 2006 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Kristen Park, who lost to Brianna Do of Vietnam, 3 and 2.
Wednesday was a successful day for the Curtis Cup participants in the field, as 2010 USA Curtis Cup Team members Stephanie Kono and Tiffany Lua and two-time GB&I representative Sally Watson all won their matches.
Also advancing was the championship’s youngest player, 12-year-old Angel Yin of Arcadia, Calif. Yin fought back from a four-hole deficit to take the lead on the 16th hole and went on to defeat Dree Fausnaugh, 14, of Winter Park, Fla., 2 and 1.
The 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links continues Thursday with the second and third rounds of match play, to be played at Bandon Trails. The quarterfinal and semifinal matches are on Friday, and the 36-hole championship final will be played Saturday. The final three rounds will all be conducted at Old Macdonald.
The U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links is one of 13 championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs. Christina Lance is a coordinator of championship communications for the USGA. Email questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.