Photo Courtesy: USGA.com
Today kicks off the first day of the 111th U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. The 2011 event is being held at the historic Rhode Island Country Club in Barrington, R.I. The event began today and will run until the 14th of August, allowing 7 days of competitive golf.
The demographics for the event mirror the strong historical foundation for the U.S. Women’s Amateur title, which is said to have marked the beginning of women’s competitive golf in this country. There are a total of 156 players in this year’s Championship; representing 33 U.S. states and 15 foreign countries. The average age of the contestants is 19.5. The youngest player in the field is Angel Yin of Arcadia, CA (originally from Korea), at age 12; while Alexandra Frazier of Haverford, PA is the oldest player in the field at age 53.
The format for the event was created to cater to the deep pool of players that the women’s amateur title continues to draw in. The event begins with two days of individual stroke play. The top 64 players that qualify from stroke play will continue onto the next five days of match-play. The second and 3rd rounds of match-play will be played in the same day and will follow with a 36-hole final, which is said to give competitors that added level of difficulty.
Championship Director for the U.S. Women’s Amateur, Stephanie Parel, stated that the 156 players all made it to the championship through exemptions and various qualifying events around the country. Of those, 9 Southern California residents qualified at Glendora Country Club. The average age of the women who qualified was 17, with the oldest qualifier at 21 years old. The 9 Southern California players are: Lee Lopez of Whittier, Kaitlin Park of Tustin, Alison Lee of Valencia, Hana Lee of Hacienda Heights, Michelle Piyapattra of Corona, Demi Frances Runas of Torrance, Courtney Hooton of Del Mar, Hee Wook Choi of San Diego and Angel Yin of Arcadia.
Another name that may be familiar to you is the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship winner and Southern California resident, Brianna Do, who enters this week’s event with an exemption. No doubt Do will have her sights set on earning another USGA title.
The Women’s Amateur was one of the USGA’s first three championships, and has long identified some of golf’s greatest women players, many of whom have found successful careers as professional golfers. So, keep your eyes peeled as we watch these Southern California women continue to take the game of golf to deeper levels.
By: Cassandra Gonzales