Women’s Am has international flavor

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By RAY McCARTHY
Assistant Editor

EUGENE, Ore. – The 11 countries represented at the U.S. Women’s Amateur are hoping the pervasive trend sweeping over women’s golf will pay a visit to Eugene Country Club this week.

International names are taking over the women’s game.

“The international players here are really good,” said Kira Meixner, one of six Canadians in the 155-player field. “I’m happy to be in the field with them, and test my game against them.”

Slideshow: Round 2 at Eugene CC

The numbers speak for themselves. Eight of the top 10 players in the Golfweek/Sagarin Women’s Pro Rankings are internationals. The four major champions on the LPGA this season are internationals.

The Women’s Am, however, has mostly belonged to the U.S. contingent in the past decade. Of the past 10 champions, seven have been Americans, as have three of the past five.

Midway through the second-round of stroke-play qualifying Tuesday, three-time Golfweek College Player of the Year Amanda Blumenherst was tied with Australia’s Stephanie Na (pictured) for medalist honors at 4-under 140.

Though Na and Blumenherst hail from lands thousands of miles apart, both represent the benchmark of golf in their respective nations. Blumenherst, No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, has reigned over college golf in the U.S. while Na is the top-ranked Australian amateur by Golf Australia, the governing body of golf in their country.

“At the moment, I’m the No. 1 player in Australia,” said Na. “Bringing that over here, I thought it was going to help me, but it hasn’t done much for my game.”

Na is in her seventh week touring North America, but her game hadn’t made the transition until her 69-71 start to stroke-play qualifying gave her the lead with Blumenherst.

The 19-year-old admitted that being named her nation’s best golfer had blurred objectives that were once clear to her.

“I was expecting to play well (coming to the states),” Na said. “But I felt like I had to prove that I am the top player from my country. This trip has been a big learning experience.”

The height of Na’s learning experience came when she walked with fellow Aussie Karrie Webb inside the ropes during a practice round at the U.S. Women’s Open.

“It was amazing,” said Na, who was invited as Webb’s guest because she had been awarded the Karrie Webb Award as her country’s top golfer. “It inspired me... experiencing the atmosphere of what it’s like to play in a major.”

Stacey Keating, who won the Canadian Women’s Amateur last week, is the other half of the two-person Australian contingent at the Women’s Am. Another Aussie, Kristie Smith, turned pro after winning the Women’s North & South Amateur in July.

“We’ve done alright,” Na said with a grin.

Finishing second to Keating at the Canadian Amateur was Stephanie Sherlock, a Canada-native and close friend of Meixner. Sherlock, who won the 2007 Canadian Amateur, finished the two rounds of stroke play at Eugene Country Club at 2-under 142.

Sherlock and Meixner share a friendly rivalry and have put their names on leaderboards across women’s golf in Canada.

In June, Sherlock and Meixner were involved in a three-way playoff at the third stop on the CN Canadian Women’s Tour. Meixner was eliminated on the first playoff hole, and Sherlock eventually prevailed on the fourth extra hole.

“We’re really good friends,” said Sherlock, who finished fifth at the NCAA Championship this year as a sophomore at Denver. “We’ve been on the same (national) team for a while now, and we travel together a lot.”

Meixner edged out Sherlock as the Canadian Amateur of the Year in 2007. Meixner, who was the runner-up in last year’s Mexican Amateur, was buoyed by a win at the British Columbia Ladies’ Amateur en route to being named the country’s best amateur golfer.

Despite all of their successes in other country’s national events, the U.S. Women’s Amateur remains the pinnacle of achievement in amateur golf.

“This is the best field, the best players... the tournament is run impeccably,” said Meixner. “I’m thrilled to be here at all... if I were to win the tournament, it would mean the world to me.”

• • •

A year after suffering a devastating 1-down loss to Maria Uribe in the finals of the U.S. Women’s Am, Amanda Blumenherst was co-medalist of stroke-play qualifying with Australia’s Stephanie Na.

Blumenherst overcame three double bogeys in her second round to post a 2-over 74 and finish at 4-under 140.

An optimistic, positive person, the round tested even her ability to look on the bright side.

“After two doubles in a row, I’m trying to tell myself, ‘I’m healthy, my family is here, it’s nice out,’ ” she said jokingly.

• • •

Kimberly Kim, the 2006 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, suffered another disappointment in a USGA event Tuesday.

A week and a half after she was ousted in the Round of 32 at the U.S. Girls’ Junior, Kim failed to advance past stroke-play qualifying at the Women’s Am.

Kim shot 82 yesterday but followed with a 1-under 71 Tuesday. Her 9-over 153 total missed a 10-way playoff for the last six spots in match-play competition by one shot.

“I thought the whole day I wouldn’t make it,” Kim said. “I played well today... there’s nothing you can do.”

The 16-year-old echoed thoughts she expressed at the U.S. Girls’.

“I’m excited to go home and actually work on my game,” she said. “I haven’t been putting in enough work.”

Kim will be attending Xavier College Preparatory in the fall. She is looking forward to school as a challenge and a welcome distraction from golf.

“Most of my life has been surrounding golf,” Kim said. “I’m 16, so I need to have a balance.”

• • •

Ray McCarthy is a Golfweek assistant editor. To reach him email rmccarthy@golfweek.com.

Scores with relation to par from the second round of the U.S. Women’s Amateur, played Aug. 5 at the par-72, 6,484 Eugene (Ore.) Country Club (Note: x-advanced to match play in playoff):

1. Amanda Blumenherst 66-74--140
-4 1. Stephanie Na 69-71--140
-4 3. Kira Meixner 72-69--141
-3 4. Stephanie Sherlock 69-73--142
-2 4. Whitney Neuhauser 70-72--142
-2 6. Alison Walshe 68-75--143
-1 6. Azahara Munoz 75-68--143
-1 6. Carlota Ciganda 70-73--143
-1 6. Julia Potter 73-70--143
-1 6. Lindy Duncan 74-69--143
-1 6. Sara-Maude Juneau 74-69--143
-1 6. Victoria Tanco 74-69--143
-1 13. Jennifer Song 72-72--144
E 13. Mina Harigae 74-70--144
E 13. Paola Moreno 71-73--144
E 13. Tiffany Joh 74-70--144
E 13. Tiffany Lua 75-69--144
E 18. Allie White 72-73--145 + 1 19. Cindy LaCrosse 74-72--146 + 2 19. Stephanie Kono 73-73--146 + 2 21. Alexis Thompson 76-71--147 + 3 21. Belen Mozo 73-74--147 + 3 21. Breanne Loucks 72-75--147 + 3 21. Megan McChrystal 73-74--147 + 3 25. Chelsea Stelzmiller 74-74--148 + 4 25. Christine Song 70-78--148 + 4 25. Erica Moston 77-71--148 + 4 25. Ha-Na Jang 76-72--148 + 4 25. Junthima Gulyanamitta 75-73--148 + 4 25. Lisa McCloskey 74-74--148 + 4 25. Nikki Koller 72-76--148 + 4 25. Stefanie Kenoyer 75-73--148 + 4 25. Sydney Burlison 73-75--148 + 4 34. Alice Kim 77-72--149 + 5 34. Jennifer Hirano 75-74--149 + 5 34. Jennifer Johnson 76-73--149 + 5 34. Lucy Nunn 75-74--149 + 5 34. Michelle Shin 74-75--149 + 5 34. Natalie Sheary 71-78--149 + 5 34. Ryann O'Toole 71-78--149 + 5 34. Shannon Fish 77-72--149 + 5 34. Sydnee Michaels 75-74--149 + 5 43. Ayaka Kaneko 73-77--150 + 6 43. Ellen Mueller 75-75--150 + 6 43. Erynne Lee 75-75--150 + 6 43. Jane Chin 74-76--150 + 6 43. Julie Yang 72-78--150 + 6 43. Kristina Wong 75-75--150 + 6 43. Lauren Doughtie 77-73--150 + 6 43. Pennapa Pulsawath 74-76--150 + 6 43. Sara Hurwitch 76-74--150 + 6 43. Selanee Henderson 75-75--150 + 6 43. Sydney Crane 76-74--150 + 6 54. Alison Lee 79-72--151 + 7 54. Caroline Kim 75-76--151 + 7 54. Dottie Ardina 74-77--151 + 7 54. Pearl Jin 80-71--151 + 7 54. Tracy Nichols 77-74--151 + 7 59. x-Jaclyn Sweeney 78-74--152 + 8 59. x-Tara Goedeken 75-77--152 + 8 59. x-Kristen Park 81-71--152 + 8 59. x-Jennie Lee 76-76--152 + 8 59. x-Lizette Salas 76-76--152 + 8 59. x-Kelley Louth 78-74--152 + 8 • • •


Missed the cut


59. Cyna Rodriguez 74-78--152 + 8 59. Garrett Phillips 78-74--152 + 8 59. Karen Chung 75-77--152 + 8 59. Taylor Barrett 76-76--152 + 8 69. Abby Bools 73-80--153 + 9 69. Austin Ernst 75-78--153 + 9 69. Cydney Clanton 77-76--153 + 9 69. Danielle Cvitanov 77-76--153 + 9 69. Haley Wilson 76-77--153 + 9 69. Jenny Shin 79-74--153 + 9 69. Joanna Coe 74-79--153 + 9 69. Kaitlin Drolson 77-76--153 + 9 69. Kimberly Kim 82-71--153 + 9 69. Mari Chun 75-78--153 + 9 69. Marika Lendl 76-77--153 + 9 69. Megan Grehan 77-76--153 + 9 69. Nannette Hill 80-73--153 + 9 69. Sarah Thead 78-75--153 + 9 83. Chelsey Cothran 76-78--154 + 10 83. Emma Jandel 81-73--154 + 10 83. Jane Rah 77-77--154 + 10 83. Janine Fellows 80-74--154 + 10 83. Kendall Dye 80-74--154 + 10 83. Kristen Svicarovich 79-75--154 + 10 89. Christina Stockton 77-78--155 + 11 89. Christine Cho 80-75--155 + 11 89. Jenelle Gomez 76-79--155 + 11 89. Joy Trotter 77-78--155 + 11 89. Kate Ackerson 79-76--155 + 11 89. Kathleen Ekey 84-71--155 + 11 89. Milena Savich 74-81--155 + 11 89. Mina Hardin 79-76--155 + 11 89. Nicole Ferrero 75-80--155 + 11 89. Stacey Keating 76-79--155 + 11 89. Susannah Aboff 78-77--155 + 11 89. Thuhashini Selvaratnam 78-77--155 + 11 101. Amy Eneroth 77-79--156 + 12 101. Casey Kennedy 79-77--156 + 12 101. Meghan Bolger 84-72--156 + 12 101. Tessa The 81-75--156 + 12 105. Cristina Corpus 77-80--157 + 13 105. Kathy Schowe 77-80--157 + 13 105. Lindsey Haupt 76-81--157 + 13 105. Mallory Blackwelder 79-78--157 + 13 109. Anna Keith 81-77--158 + 14 109. Annie Park 81-77--158 + 14 109. Kate Hildahl 78-80--158 + 14 109. Kimberly Kaufman 81-77--158 + 14 109. Sadena Parks 78-80--158 + 14 109. Stacey Miller 81-77--158 + 14 115. Ashley McKenney 79-80--159 + 15 115. Jaclyn Jansen 80-79--159 + 15 115. Julianna Uhrik 81-78--159 + 15 115. Nicole Forshner 81-78--159 + 15 119. Amelia Lewis 77-83--160 + 16 119. Carolyn Creekmore 85-75--160 + 16 119. Emily Powers 82-78--160 + 16 122. Cyd Okino 84-77--161 + 17 122. Heather Lemaster 77-84--161 + 17 122. Lindsey Solberg 79-82--161 + 17 122. Mayule Tomimbang 79-82--161 + 17 122. Sarah Whitney 82-79--161 + 17 122. Taryn Kuida 79-82--161 + 17 128. Anna Schultz 81-81--162 + 18 128. Gabriella Then 82-80--162 + 18 128. Haley Millsap 82-80--162 + 18 128. Joanne Lee 82-80--162 + 18 128. Maria Castellanos 85-77--162 + 18 128. Olivia Lansing 79-83--162 + 18 134. Amber Lundskog 86-77--163 + 19 134. Laura Coble 83-80--163 + 19 134. Taylore Karle 87-76--163 + 19 137. Jade Bollinger 86-78--164 + 20 137. Megan Pak 83-81--164 + 20 137. Rebecca Lederhausen 83-81--164 + 20 137. Robyn Puckett 83-81--164 + 20 137. Victoria Fallgren 85-79--164 + 20 142. Marissa Steen 79-86--165 + 21 143. Katie Rogner 81-85--166 + 22 144. Madison Marcolla 90-77--167 + 23 144. Sarah Almond 83-84--167 + 23 146. Christine Curley 83-85--168 + 24 146. Dawn Shockley 81-87--168 + 24 146. Jessica Potter 85-83--168 + 24 146. Linda Olsen 87-81--168 + 24 146. Stephanie Wagstaff 86-82--168 + 24 151. Monica Villarreal 86-83--169 + 25 152. Andrea Kaelin 84-88--172 + 28 153. Ashleigh Albrecht 89-84--173 + 29 154. Paige Rachor 88-88--176 + 32 155. Kati Scholten 84-95--179 + 35

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