Seong Earns Medalist Honors at 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links

Korean breaks 18- and 36-hole scoring records

DUPONT, Wash. – Eun Jeong Seong, 14, of Korea, emerged from the morning fog and delivered a sparkling performance during Tuesday’s second round of the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, being conducted at The Home Course.

Katie Lee of Silverdale
Katie Lee of Silverdale, Wash., plays her fourth shot from the rough at the 13th hole. Lee made the cut after firing a 71 in the second round. (Copyright USGA/Steven Gibbons)

Seong’s 8-under 64 comprised a bogey-free round with eight birdies. It was also a championship record, breaking the previous mark of 65 held by Brittany Lang at the 2004 championship at Golden Horseshoe Golf Course in Williamsburg, Va. Seong’s two-day total of 10-under 134 breaks the previous record of 135 held by Lang in 2004 and Ariya Jutanugarn at the 2010 championship at The Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame in Indiana.

With this being the final WAPL, Seong’s incredible day of scoring is assured of being a permanent part of the USGA record book.

Seong showed flashes of brilliance during Monday’s first round, playing her first 15 holes at 5 under par and holding a share of the lead. However, she faded down the stretch with three consecutive bogeys to finish the day tied for fourth.

“Yesterday, my driver was so bad,” said Seong through a translator, fellow competitor Yeji Shin. “But today, it was so good.”

On Tuesday, Seong was able to finish what she started. Having made the turn at 2 under par, she caught fire on the inward nine, closing with a 6-under 30 to stake her claim to medalist honors. She proudly said that this is the best she has ever played.

Seong is playing in her second USGA championship, having previously missed the cut at the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at the Country Club of Charleston (S.C.). She will be competing in match play for the first time in her short career.

Due to heavy morning fog, play was delayed for one hour. Once the fog lifted, sunny skies and light winds provided a course that was ripe for low scores.

Caroline Inglis, a rising senior at the University of Oregon, and incoming University of Arkansas freshman Alana Uriell also added their names to the WAPL record book on Tuesday. Inglis, 20, of Eugene, Ore., and Uriell, 17, of Carlsbad, Calif., both carded 6-under 66s, tied with seven others for the third-lowest 18-hole score in championship history.

“This (championship) has been my main goal for the whole summer,” said Uriell, who reached match play for the first time in four USGA championships. “To play well here is a really big deal for me.”

Inglis and Uriell are tied for third at 6-under 138, along with reigning U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Gabriella Then, 18, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; University of Washington player Soobin Kim, 21, of Korea; and Dominique Galloway, 16, of Rio Rancho, N.M.

Following an even-par second round, first-round leader Cindy Ha, 17, of Demarest, N.J., is one of three at 5-under 137. She is joined by Aram Choi, 22, of Canada, and two-time U.S. Women’s Open competitor Mariel Galdiano, 16, of Pearl City, Hawaii.

Kaci Masuda, 18, of Honolulu rounds out the top 10 at 4-under 140.

For the second consecutive year, Lucy Li became the youngest player in the match-play bracket at the Women’s Amateur Public Links. The 11-year-old from Redwood Shores, Calif., shot a two-day total of even-par 144.

Jacqueline Bendrick of Mercer Island
Jacqueline Bendrick of Mercer Island, Wash., plays her second shot at the ninth hole. Bendrick made the cut after her round 2 score of 71. (Copyright USGA/Steven Gibbons)

Defending WAPL champion Lauren Diaz-Yi advanced at 1-under 143. Reigning NCAA champion Doris Chen, who fell to Diaz-Yi in the 2013 final, carded a 2-over 145 to reach match play.

There was a 6-for-5 playoff for the final match-play berths, starting on the par-5 10th hole. Hannah Soderston (4), Catherine Dolan (5), Marianne Li (5), Samantha Gotcher (5) and Jacqueline Bendrick (4) advanced, while Shawn Rennegarbe three-putted for bogey from 45 feet.

Kyung Kim, the 2012 champion and a member of the 2014 USA Curtis Cup Team, struggled on Tuesday and failed to advance. She carded four bogeys and one double bogey, finishing at 7-over 151.

Other notables to miss the cut include 2011 WAPL runner-up Marissa Dodd, 2012 WAPL semifinalist Alice Jeong and Hunter Pate, who won the Girls’ 14-15 age division at the 2014 Drive, Chip and Putt Championship.

The 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links 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 a.m. PDT on Saturday.

The U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.