PGA Championship Thursday Blog: USGA Women's Amateur, etc.
Lost amid the jubilation and general giddiness of a major championship week are the other events taking place in the world of high-profile golf. The US Women’s Amateur is being disputed at Crooked Stick in Indiana. Site of John Daly’s coming-out party in 1991, two kids born in 1996 are battling in today’s second round of match play. Neither one figured in the medal race but…they’re twelve!! Hopefully both will maintain amateur status through college, avoiding the material trappings and temptations of turning pro early. The real players to watch are Kimberly Kim, incredibly the defending champion at the ripe old age of 15; Amanda Blumenhurst and Jenny Suh, two college standouts (Duke and Alabama, respectively) who unfortunately meet in round two, ensuring the departure of one of these stellar players; qualifying co-medalist Kristina Wong and USGA Amateur Public Links champion Mina Harigae.
I have no idea what it means in German, but I love the Bad Ragaz Seniors Open on the European Seniors Tour. The LPGA and the US Senior Tour have the week off, while the Nationwide comers are in Northeast PA for the, you guessed it, Northeast PA Classic. Top male amateurs are at the Pacific Coast Amateur in Cool View (chula vista), Cali, or are taking the week off. Diego Munoz de Cote Artigas is currently tied for 46th in the tournament proper, while running away in the best-of-names category. Also taking place this week are the Cardinal and Palmetto amateurs, the last three major events before the US Amateur in late August.
The British Senior Amateur is taking place at Nairn Dunbar in Scotland, and what looks to be golf course architect Graham Cooke is currently three strokes off the lead after round one. Great, not only can he design courses, but he can play the game, too.
By the way, early in the US PGA championship, numerous players (Markus Brier and Camilo Villegas) have reached -3 and fallen back. Sergio is currently at that level, so we’ll see if the Spaniard can solve the puzzle that leads to -4. Ernie Els and others predicted scores below 63 this week, and wouldn’t that make for an exciting tourney! Most conspicuous start to the event goes to club pro Ryan Benzel, who almost beaned Brian Bateman with a practice swing (I blame Bateman!) and then split the fairway with his opening tee shot as a anxious shutterbug fired his camera early.
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