Teens leading the way as field narrows to 64
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Mari Chun, a 17-year-old from Hawaii, and Angela Park, a 16-year-old from Torrance, Calif., finished with 6-under 136s on Tuesday and were co-medalists after two rounds of stroke play in the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links.
Park had a 70 in the morning at Swope Memorial Golf Course and then Chun had a 69 in the afternoon to tie her for the overall lead.
"It was a surprise," Chun said. "I thought I'd maybe be third or fourth. I didn't think I would be a co-medalist."
The field of 144 was trimmed to 64 with the first round of match play beginning Wednesday.
Ya-Ni Tseng, a 16-year-old from Taiwan who defeated Michelle Wie in the finals last year, beat the 153 cutoff by one stroke.
Wie is playing this week in the U.S. Amateur Public Links, which could give the winner a berth in the Masters. The 15-year-old Wie advanced Tuesday to match play in the men's event at Lebanon, Ohio.
Scores were higher Tuesday in the second round of stroke play with only three under 70.
Amanda Mathis, a sophomore at Mississippi State who shot a 78 Monday, had Tuesday's best round, a 3-under 68. Sung Lee of Tacoma, Wash., had a 69.
The 36-hole final is Saturday.
Chun has entered three USGA championships and has been co-medalist in two. She was co-medalist at the US Girls' Junior Championship last year in Fort Worth, Texas, but lost in the first round of match play.
"My record is not great in match play, so hopefully it will be better this year," Chun said. "I've been trying to ask for advice from my friends in Hawaii who play match play. They pretty much said, 'You're not playing the actual player, you're playing the golf course. As long as you keep telling yourself that, you're not playing their game.' Hopefully I'll play as well as I have the past two days and continue to make birdies and pars."
After just one bogey Monday, Park had three in the second round, but she had four birdies.
"I struggled a little bit out there with my drives," Park said. "I missed six fairways. I got up and down pretty good because I really needed to. I got birdies on holes I really needed to get them. Overall, I'm pretty happy with it."
Park lost to Wie in the semifinals of the USGA event last year.
"In match play you've got to go a little aggressive," Park said. "It is one-on-one, so it basically you've got to beat your opponent. I'm not going to change anything. I'm just going to play my own game and hit the ball like I've been doing, play like I've been doing. I'll be fine. I've experienced a lot of match play already, so I think I'm a little bit ahead of a lot of people."
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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