SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Emily Tubert was the only golfer without a bag emblazoned with a college logo to make the quarterfinals at the Women’s Amateur Public Links. If the “low junior” award exists in this championship, then Tubert is the winner – and she’s not done yet. The 18-year-old Arkansas commit continued to roll Friday morning, taking down Victoria Park on the first extra hole at the Warren Course at Notre Dame.
Tubert isn’t just new to this championship – but for the 2006 U.S. Girls’ Junior, it’s her first major USGA event – but also relatively new to the game. She took up golf just five years ago, and is honing her skills under the instruction of Zach Allen, who teaches out of DeBell Golf Club in Burbank, Calif.
The most notable part of Tubert’s game is her length off the tee, and according to her father and caddie Marcelo, Tubert’s average drive carries 270 yards. After putting up a 1-under 141 in stroke-play qualifying to get the No. 5 seed on the match-play bracket, Tubert is feeling much more confident about her game than during that last USGA championship.
“The last time I played I was just so new to the game of golf that it was a little overwhelming,” Tubert said.
Tubert’s comeback in the quarterfinals soundly backs up that statement. Park, a rising sophomore at Oklahoma State, was 1 up entering the par-5 17th hole, so Tubert pulled a 4-wood on her second shot and stuck it to 14 feet. Just as she was thinking she would win the hole to go to the 18th all square, Park rolled in a 25-footer to match Tubert’s 2-putt birdie.
Tubert won the final hole as Park 3-putted, then closed the door on her opponent on the first extra hole when Park missed the green.
“I’ve known her for a couple of years, we’re both from California, she’s a nice girl but it’s crazy,” Tubert said, shaking her head at her incredible comeback.
As she continues to dominate the match-play bracket, Tubert is easily becoming a player to look out for in South Bend. Interestingly enough, Marcelo also might be a familiar face, as he traded in acting duties this week for his breakout role as a caddie. Tubert has a long list of TV and movie appearances to his credit, and they range from Seinfeld to CSI Miami to Miss Congeniality 2.
If Emily keeps up this kind of play, however, caddie might be a recurring role.
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Results from the quarterfinals of the Women’s Amateur Public Links, played June 25 at the Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame:
Sara Grantham def. Cydney Clanton, 1 up
Emily Tubert def. Victoria Sungmin Park, 19 holes
Ellen Mueller def. Martina Gavier, 2 and 1
Lisa McCloskey def. Brianna Do, 1 up