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The Road to Pinehurst: U.S. Women’s Open Sectional Qualifying

Road to Pinehurst: U.S. Women’s Open Sectional Qualifying

May 19, 2014

`A trio of Junior Tour of Northern California products, including a record 11-year-old, are headed to this year’s U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst.

Lucy Li of Redwood Shores, Kathleen Scavo of Benicia and  Folsom resident Paige Lee all earned spots in the championship on Monday, getting through a 36-hole Sectional qualifier held on the Old Course at Half Moon Bay Golf Links.

Li, the medalist, shot a medalist-earning 142 with rounds of 74 and 68. At age 11, Li is the youngest player to ever qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open. The previous youngest player was Lexi Thompson (age 12) in 2007. The youngest player to compete in the U.S. Women’s Open is Beverly Klass, who was 10 in 1967.

Back in April, Li scored perfect 11s in driving and chipping, and added a 4 in putting to win the Girls 10-11 age group with 26 points at the inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt at Augusta National Golf Club.

Last year, Li became the youngest player to reach match play at the U.S. Women’s Public Links at the age of 10. Li also became the youngest player to make the cut at the 2011 California Women’s State Amateur at the age of 9.

Scavo, a junior at Justin-Sienna High, finished second, seven behind Li at 149 (78-71). Scavo is two-time defending champion of the California Junior Girls State Championship.

Lee, who finished third at 150 (76-74) is a former standout on the JTNC. She now plays at UC Davis, where she is a freshman.

Casie Cathrea of Livermore, who was the low amateur at last year’s U.S. Women’s Open, withdrew from the event.

This year’s U.S. Women’s Open will tee off June 19-22 on the heels of the U.S. Open at Pinehurst.

May 13, 2014

The Road to Pinehurst didn’t end with Monday’s last Northern California local qualifying tournaments for the U.S. Open.

This coming Monday, spots in the U.S Women’s Open at Pinehurst will be on the line in a Sectional qualifier to be held on the par-72 Old Course at Half Moon Bay Golf Links. The qualifier will be 36 holes.

Among those slated to tee off in the qualifier at Half Moon Bay, which is the only U.S. Women’s Open Sectional qualifier in Northern California, include Casie Cathrea, Michelle Xie, Audra Kepler and Junior Tour of Northern California standouts Samantha Hutchison, Jessica Luo and Sabrina Iqbal.

Cathrea, who resides in Livermore, was the low amateur at last year’s U.S. Women’s Open at Sebonack Golf Club. Not long after winning this year’s San Francisco City Championship — making it back-to-back dominating wins in the championship – Cathrea turned professional.

Michelle Xie, who hails from Palo Alto, won the Central Coast Section high school girls’ golf individual title while leading Palo Alto to the team championship. Now a senior at Palo Alto, Xie followed that by winning the Northern California individual championship. Prior to those wins, Xie partnered with Champions Tour member Kirk Triplett to win the Pro-Junior title at the annual Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.

Kepler, a senior at CSU Monterey Bay, entered the postseason ranked as the No. 1 individual in the West Region. Last week, Kepler finished 10th at the NCAA Division II Regional at Walnut Creek Country Club to just miss a berth into NCAA Division II Championship.

Iqbal, Hutchison and Luo, meanwhile, have all been having a great spring on the Junior Tour of Northern California circuit.

Iqbal won the opening JTNC Spring Series I Championship in Stockton and was runner-up at the Spring Series II Championship in Windsor. Hutchison was runner-up at the Spring Series I Championship and in April finished first at the Fresno City Junior Amateur. Luo recently finished second at both the Spring Series V Championship at Chardonnay GC in Napa and the Spring Series VI Championship at difficult Darkhorse GC in Auburn.

The starting times for Monday’s Sectional will be 7 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

-Jerry Stewart

Author: Jerry Stewart

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