NESHANIC STATION, N.J. (June 21, 2012) -– At the age of 20, Kim Kaufman of Clark, S.D., is the oldest player remaining as the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship advances to Friday’s quarterfinal round at the 6,221-yard, par-72 Neshanic Valley Golf Course.
In the third round Kaufman defeated 14-year-old Allisen Corpuz of Honolulu, Hawaii, 2 and 1, to join seven teenagers who will vie in the fourth round of match play.
Also advancing are Alice Jeong, 17, of Gardena, Calif., Annie Park, 17, of Levittown, N.Y., Lakareber Abe, 16, of Angleton, Texas, Kyung Kim, 18, of Chandler, Ariz., Chirapat Jao-Javanil, 19, of Thailand, Grace Na, 19, of Alameda, Calif., and Ashlan Ramsey, 16, of Milledgeville, Ga.
Abe defeated the 2010 U.S. Girls’ Junior Champion Doris Chen, 19, of Bradenton, Fla., 1 up.
“She’s really steady,” Abe said. “I had to tell myself she’s a good player and doesn’t make many mistakes, so you can’t afford to make mistakes either.”
In the quarterfinals, Abe will play Kim, who scored a handy 2-and-1 victory over Rachel Morris of Carlsbad, Calif.
Annie Park, a semifinalist in 2011, won, 2 and 1, over Brittany Altomare of Shrewsbury, Mass. Park was also a quarterfinalist in the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur. After storming from behind with five straight birdies Thursday morning to defeat 2008 and 2010 Great Britain & Ireland Curtis Cup player Sally Watson, 3 and 1, Park had a slightly rougher time going against Altomare.
Park won the first hole and was never down in the match but bogeys on the 14th and 15th holes cut her margin to 1 up. At the 16th hole, a 330-yard par 4, Park hit a 4 iron from the tee. Her approach shot from 57 yards was to within 7 feet of the hole and she made the birdie putt to go 2 up.
On the 17th green, Park was 25 feet from the hole and had to get down in two putts to win the match.
Park’s mother, Ann, was her caddie during the match. “When I stood over the putt my mother said, ‘Keep your head still and just get it as close as possible,’ and I was, like, Mom, that’s what I’ve been trying to do this whole time,” Park said. She lagged her putt to with 3 feet of the hole and made it to win.
“I’m feeling good with my swing right now because I was all over the place in the stroke play qualifying rounds,” Park said.
In the quarterfinals Park will face Jeong, who advanced with a 1-up victory over Allyssa Ferrell of Edgerton, Wis.
With Doris Chen and Emily Tubert of Burbank, Calif., the 2010 Women’s Amateur Public Links champion, going down in defeat, all prior USGA champions have been eliminated. Chen defeated Tubert in Thursday morning’s second round, 2 and 1, before losing to Abe.
All three USA Curtis Cup players were dispatched in Thursday morning’s second round.
Sixteenth-hole heroics highlighted a second-round match between Jeong and 2012 USA Curtis Cup player Lisa McCloskey, 20, of Houston, Texas.
Both eagled the short par 4, which was set at 259 yards. Jeong ran in a 15-foot putt from the fringe. From the tee, McCloskey nearly holed out her 3-wood shot and then tapped in a 2-footer for a matching eagle. But it was too late. Jeong won on the next hole, 2 and 1.
Tiffany Lua, a USA Curtis Cup player from Rowland Heights, Calif., was ousted in the second round by Altomare, 3 and 2.
Thailand’s Jao-Javanil defeated Pailin Ruttanasupagid, also of Thailand, in the third round, 4 and 3, to advance. She will play Kaufman in the quarterfinals.
Na defeated Kristine Odaiyar, 16, of Ocala, Fla., 5 and 3. Na will face Ramsey in the quarterfinals.
The U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links is one of 13 championships conducted by the United States Golf Association. Ten are strictly for amateurs.