KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Co-medalists Mari Chun and Angela Park easily won their first-round matches on Wednesday in the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links.
Chun, a 17-year-old from Hawaii, defeated Patty Chawalitmetha of Bellflower, Calif., 4 and 3. Park, a 16-year-old from Torrance, Calif., birdied four of the first five holes at Swope Memorial in a 7 and 6 victory over Felicia Johnston of Tigard, Ore.
Also advancing to the second round was Ya-Ni Tseng, a 16-year-old of Taiwan who beat Michelle Wie in last year's final. Tseng, who struggled to qualify with a 10-over 152 for 36 holes of stroke play, defeated Sung Lee of Tacoma, Wash., 3 and 1.
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 won her first-round match and advanced to Thursday's second round in the men's event at Lebanon, Ohio.
Chun was the co-medalist at the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship last year in Fort Worth, Texas, but lost in the first round of match play.
"I made it through the first round," Chun said. "My confidence is a little better. I'm excited to keep playing. Hopefully I'll make it through the 36 holes. I've never played 36 holes in one day yet."
The field of 64 was trimmed to 32 on Wednesday, and it will be cut to eight Thursday with two rounds scheduled. The 36-hole final is Saturday.
Chun was five up after 10 holes and lost only the 11th hole.
"My driver was going well, hitting the fairways, which allowed me to stick more pins. My putting wasn't that great today, though. I was missing quite a few putts that I would expect to make," Chun said. "I tried to play the course. I didn't get caught up in how the other person played and what they did, on they did that, I have to do this. I didn't do that today, which is good for me."
Park's victory was the widest margin in the first round of match play.
"The earlier you get it done, the better it is," Park said. "Match play is totally unpredictable. I didn't want to get ahead of myself, thinking this is going to be so easy. I just tried to keep making birdies and not make any mistakes."
Park will meet Juli Wightman, a freshman at Brigham Young, in the second round. Wightman defeated Lacey Jones of Idabel, Okla., 6 and 5.
Tseng, who defeated Wie 1-up last year, barely made the cutoff of 153.
"I went back to my bedroom and cried for 15 minutes because I thought I might not make the cut," Tseng said through a translator. "I was worried."
Her putter, which was erratic in stroke play, was much better against Lee.
"I slept with my putter last night because my putter didn't work in the first two days," Tseng said. "Today it worked. I'll sleep with it again tonight. I missed only two putts, so I made most of them."
Jackie Beers, who plays at the University of Georgia and had the fourth best qualifying score, was upset by Christi Athas, a junior at Iowa State, 4 and 3. Amanda McCurdy, who was the runner-up at the U.S. Women's Amateur last year, lost to Stephanie Ruiz of Edmond, Okla., 1-up.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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