A month after being named Golfweek’s College Player of the Year, Jennifer Song added a major amateur title to her resume.
The rising USC sophomore won the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Saturday in a convincing 7-and-6 victory over Kimberly Kim.
It was the largest margin of victory in the 33-year history of the event.
Song, who was 5 up after 18 holes at Red Tail Golf Club in Devens, Mass., increased her lead to 7 up after 27 holes. In total, she was 9 under par and made just one bogey in the championship match.
“I think it was my best round of golf,” said Song, who hit 25 of 30 greens and didn’t miss a fairway. “Whenever I was on the green, I just told myself, ‘If you can see it, it’s going to go in.’ ”
Born in Ann Arbor, Mich., Song, 18, grew up in South Korea and was a member of the 2007 and ’08 Korean National Team. She was named Golfweek’s 2008-09 Player of the Year after finishing No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. The Trojans finished third at the national championship.
Kim has had plenty of experience in USGA events. In 2006, she became the youngest winner in U.S. Women’s Amateur history when she triumphed as a 14-year-old. Earlier that year, she was runner-up at the Women’s Publinx. Now 17, Kim won the AJGA’s Rolex Girls Junior Championship June 19. She will attend Denver in the fall.
Song, however, has had trouble closing the door at major events. She finished runner-up at the Publix in 2008. At the NCAA Women’s Championship in May, Song held the individual lead through 71 holes. However, she three-putted No. 18 for double bogey in the final round at Caves Valley, handing the title to Purdue senior Maria Hernandez. Song left the course in tears.
“I told one of my friends before the championship, I said, ‘Maybe I really don’t know how to win.’ But she told me, you know, ‘Jennifer, you’re a great player, so don’t give up. You’re very close,’ ” Song said. “So I just kept telling myself that if I work hard and keep focusing on what I’m doing, some day I’m going to win. And thank God, I got one today.”