Pinehurst Tournaments Archive

Battling Pinehurst and dyslexia with grace, Lucas shares lead at 110th North and South Amateur

Diagnosed with dyslexia at 16, Illinois grad and 2-time Academic All-American puts together tidy 3-under 69

BY ALEX PODLOGAR

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. – Her playing partners Kyle Roig and Ayaka Nakayama were still seated at the scorer’s table, several minutes after they had finished the second round of the 110th North and South Women’s Amateur.

Not to be rushed, Nora Lucas took her time, carefully going over her scorecard with her caddie Jon Klein. They meticulously went over the numbers, then went over them again. And again.

“I’ve signed a ton of incorrect scorecards in my life,” Lucas said. “I’m not good with numbers.”

And she will tell you she’s not good with reading, either. Diagnosed as a dyslexic at 16, the graduate of the University of Illinois has struggled with the learning disability for as long as she can remember.

“It’s a pretty severe case of dyslexia, unfortunately,” she said, “but we all have our issues to deal with. Now the role I’m playing is to tell kids who are like me you can still be successful. You can still do well in school. It might take you a little bit longer, but you’re still just as smart as everyone else. It’s just a different way of learning.”

It’s a tough road, no doubt. But she’s making golf look easy.

A native of Glenview, Ill., and diehard Chicago Cubs fan, Lucas carded one of the best rounds of Amateur on Wednesday, finishing a bogey-free round of 3-under 69 to move to 4 under and the top of the leaderboard on the second day of stroke pay at Pinehurst No. 8.

And golf’s a welcome respite for Lucas, who will work as a researcher this year at the University of Chicago while she prepares for law school. A double major in History and English while at Illinois, the two-time Academic All-American has always found solace on the links, even at the difficult 6,546-yard Pinehurst No. 8.

“Golf is something that obviously doesn’t involve numbers or reading,” she says with a laugh. “I don’t have to read anything, screw up the words or something.”

A walk-on at Illinois before earning a scholarship as a sophomore, Lucas wasn’t heavily recruited coming out of high school and was never anywhere near the phenom first-round lead leader Jaye Marie Green is. But the perseverance from dealing with her learning disability had an added effect on her maturation as a golfer.

“I’d try so hard and still get B’s, and I thought that’s how it was for everybody,” Lucas said of high school. “But I think that taught me a lot, especially with golf. If you really work hard at something, even with a disability, you can still compete at the highest level no matter what’s going on.”

And now she’s competing with several of the best amateurs in the world. Everything was right in line on Wednesday as Lucas opened her round on the back nine and carded two birdies on 13 and 14 before a string of eight pars. She then birdied the par-3 5th hole – her 14th of the day – before closing with four more pars.

Some of those pars were hard to come by, but with a red-hot putter, Lucas managed to salvage a few strokes with par saves from 10 and 20 feet.

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Teenage Phenoms – And Friends – Set The Pace At 110th North And South Women’s Amateur

Teenage Phenoms – And Friends – Set The Pace At 110th North And South Women’s Amateur

Florida’s Jaye Marie Green enjoys best round of the day with 3-under 69

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. – You could hear them laugh on the fairway and see them smile on the greens.

Jaye Marie Green and Moriya Jutanugarn, two teenagers from the junior golf hotbed of Florida, are gunning for the same prize – to win the prestigious 110th North and South Amateur at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club.

You would think that would make them adversaries on the golf course. But if they are, it’s certainly hard to tell.

Partnered in the same group as 2011 North and South runner-up Doris Chen, the duo was right where they expected to be — among the class of the field. The 18-year-old Green led the way with a 3-under 69 on the 6,563-yard Pinehurst No. 8 at the amateur championship’s first round of stroke play on Tuesday, clipping Jutanugarn and fellow Florida teen Kailey Walsh by one shot.

“It’s fun to play golf when you play with someone like Moriya,” said Green, who won the 2011 South Atlantic Amateur – almost a year to the day before 17-year-old Jutanugarn won it. “I see her every tournament, and it’s great because we can, you know, talk. It’s not, ‘So, where are you from?’ We can talk for real.”

They can play, too.

On a day when just seven players managed to break par, Green, who has played in both the U.S. Open and the Kraft Nabisco Championship this year, was solid from start to finish, opening with two birdies in her first six holes. Green stumbled with a bogey on the par-5 sixth, her 15th hole of the day, but closed with a birdie on the 9th for the low round of the day.

Jutanugarn, who made the cut at the 2011 U.S. Open and again qualified for the major championship this year, opened with eight straight pars before a bogey on the par-4 18th, but rallied with three birdies in her first five holes after making the turn. Shaking off a 1-hour, 22-minute weather delay, Jutanugarn finished with four straight pars for a tidy 70.

“From tee to green, I hit the ball well, though I struggled a bit on the greens,” said Jutanugarn, who’s a native of Bangkok, Thailand. “My putter was close, but I just couldn’t get a lot to go in.”

The two will be grouped again with Chen, who shot 2-over 74, on Wednesday morning. They will tee off at 8:06 a.m.

Walsh had four birdies to come in at 2 under as well, working around two bogeys on the front side to move within one of the lead.

“It was tough out there in the heat,” said Walsh, who played her afternoon round as the heat index soared to 104. “You really had to keep your head down and just play. It was hard to keep focused.”

The tournament will feature three rounds of stroke play at the Centennial Course, with the top 60 and ties advancing to Thursday’s third round. The top 16 will then advance to match play, which will be played on Friday and Saturday on famed Pinehurst No. 2.

Haley Stephens, of Greer, S.C., and a rising senior at Texas, led a group of four players at 1 under after a solid morning round. Stephens said she believes her maturity enabled her to record one of the few under par rounds.

“The greens are good-sized,” Stephens said. “If you hit them in the center, you’re only going to have a 20-to-25-footer. And if you get the speed down, you’re fine. And then a couple of those will drop and if not, you have tap-in pars, so you’re fine. I think a lot of people, especially young players, they tend to get greedy, and they go for it. And if you’re off four or five paces from the edge, you’re chipping from the rough. I think that’s just the maturity of me as a golfer.”

Stephens got off to a hot start, making birdie on three of the first five holes. She bookended her back nine with bogeys on 10 and 18 to finish at 71, but was pleased to stay within her strategy of conservative play.

“The pin locations were set up to play smart, and I think that’s where I excel,” she said. “I’m not scared to go for the center of the green, get two putts and get out of there. And I was fortunate enough for a couple of them to go in.

 “You definitely have to take your medicine and not go after every pin. That’s definitely going to be my strategy for the whole week.”

England’s Holly Clyburn, one of the top players in the field and a key member of the Curtis Cup-winning team in June, made a triple-bogey 8 on the par-5 second hole, but came back with six birdies to salvage a round of even-par 72 with three others. Despite the ups and downs, she was pleased.

“I’d take three rounds of even par and go to No. 2,” Clyburn said. “I think that’s straight up there and not far away (of qualifying for match play.)”

That said, count Clyburn as one of those not surprised by Green’s round.

“Out there is under par,” Clyburn said. “I had an 8 and shot level par. I had six birdies, so it’s not like you cannot shot under par. You can. Hit fairways and greens; that’s all you have to do. And hole a couple of putts. But I’d take three rounds of level and go to match play and start fresh.”

Ellen Port, at 50 years old the eldest player in the field, shot 2-over 74.

Two years after the Men’s North and South Amateur Championship began in 1900, the women’s championship was born and now celebrates its 110th year.  It has become one of the most sought after women’s amateur titles and routinely displays the talents of players who are seen competing on the LPGA.

Its champions are among the legends of the game: Babe Zaharias, Louise Suggs, Peggy Kirk, Hollis Stacey, Donna Andrews, Brandie Burton, Brittany Lang, Morgan Pressel and Yani Tseng.

“Pinehurst has been a bastion of amateur golf for over a century,” said Pinehurst President Don Padgett. “It is amateur golf at its best.”

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The 112th North & South Amateur Championship — In Video

Congrats again to Peter Williamson for winning the 112th North and South Championship, etching his name among the greats to have ever played the game of golf and won the prestigious amateur tournament.

Pinehurst Resort was your home for the best coverage of the event, and also included several player interviews following each day of play. What follows is your one-stop shop for all of the videos covering the 112th North and South Amateur, including the trophy ceremony.

Interview with Champion Peter Williamson

David Erdy, Following Friday’s match play quarterfinal

Peter Williamson, after winning medalist honors at Pinehurst No. 8

Peter Williamson, following the second round of stroke play

Michael Cromie, following the second round of stroke play

Thomas Bradshaw, following the first round of stroke play

Josh Eure, following he first round of stroke play

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The 110th North & South Women’s Amateur — Meet the Elite

The 110th North and South Women’s Amateur field is a stunning one. Alongside the men’s Amateur, the North and South Women’s Championship, played at Pinehurst, is one of the nation’s longest consecutive running amateur championships.

It began as a means to afford golfers a competitive arena and to generate publicity for a five-year old resort named Pinehurst.  Its name was crested to foster good relations between geographic regions that only a generation earlier had battled in the Civil War.

The mission over the years has been simple, according to Richard Tufts of Pinehurst’s founding family: “To provide an annual gathering of these who love the game, rather than a spectacle.”

Two years after the Men’s Championship began in 1900, the Women’s Championship was born and now celebrates its 110th year.  It has become one of the most sought after women’s amateur titles and routinely displays the talents of players who are seen competing on the LPGA.

“Pinehurst has been a bastion of amateur golf for over a century,” says Pinehurst President Don Padgett. “It is amateur golf at its best.”

Pinehurst is proud to continue this time-honored tradition.

And its champions are among the legends of the game: Babe Zaharias, Louise Suggs, Peggy Kirk, Donna Andrews, Brandie Burton, Brittany Lang, Morgan Pressel and Yani Tseng.

And now, as the 110th North and South Women’s Amateur soon begins, meet some of the elite players in the field:

MORIYA JUTANUGARN

North Hollywood, Calif., 17,

Rankings – Amateur Golf: 1; R&A: 8, Women’s Amateur Golf Rankings: 10

Notes: Moriya is one of two Jutanugarns with high profiles in amateur golf along with younger sister Ariya, who has consistently ranked higher than her elder sibling. Moriya took steps to close the gap in early 2012 on the Florida Orange Blossom Tour. She bettered her younger sister to win the South Atlantic Amateur Championship (The Sally), with Ariya finishing three shots adrift in second place. Moriya also finished third in the Harder Hall the week before her victory, and second in the Dixie Amateur Championship the week before. In 2011, the amateur from Bangkok was runner-up in the US Women’s Amateur Championship. Moriya’s Sally win earned her a spot in the 2012 Kraft Nabisco Championship …Appeared in 2012 U.S. Open…Made cut at 2011 U.S. Open…Appeared in 2011 LPGA State Farm Classic.

JAYE GREEN

Boca Raton, Fla., 18

Rankings – AmGolf: 2, R&A: 12, WAGR: 12

Notes: Appeared in 2012 U.S. Open… Green played on the 2011 US Junior Solheim Cup team that retained the trophy at Knightsbrook Golf Resort in Ireland. She was the leading US scorer, totaling 2 1/2 points. A native of Boca Raton, Florida, Green won the 2011 South Atlantic Amateur Championship (The Sally), was runner up at the 2011 LPGA Futures Tour Daytona Invitational, and won both the 2010 Polo Golf Junior Classic and the 2011 Ping Junior Invitational. In March 2012 she played in her first major championship when she was invited to play in the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

AUSTIN ERNST

Seneca, S.C., 20, LSU

Rankings:Am Golf: 12, R&A 16, GolfWeek College: 20

Notes: 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Championship Medalist…Appeared in 2012 Kraft Nabisco Championship, the only college player in the field…Made the cut at the Nabisco, finishing 49th…2011 NGCA, Golfweek First-Team All-American…2011 NGCA All-Scholar Athlete Team…2011 SEC Second Team…2011 SEC Freshman Team…2011 Freshman SEC Academic Honor Roll…2011 LSWA  All-Louisiana First Team.

DORIS CHEN

Bradenton, Fla., 19, Southern California

Rankings: Am Gof: 7, GW College 12

Notes: Appeared in 2012 U.S. Open…2011 North & South Runner-up…Appeared in 2011 U.S Open…Won U.S. Junior Girls Championship in 2010…2010 Rolex Junior All-American First team…Played on winning U.S. team in Junior Ryder Cup in 2010.

BREANNA ELLIOTT

Melbourne, Australia, 20

Rankings: R&A6, WAGR: 11

Notes: 2012 New South Wales Stoke Play 2012 West Australian Amateur 2012 West Australian Stroke Play 2012 South Australian Stroke Play 2012 Australian Amateur – R/up 2011 Lake Macquarie Amateur Winner 2011 St Rule Trophy R/up (UK) 2010 Queensland stroke Play Winner.

Players in the North and South Women’s Amateur field who have appeared in the U.S. Open: 8 (Moroya Jutanugarn, Jaye Green, Emma Talley, Doris Chen, Ashley Armstrong, Katherine Perry, Gabriela Lopez and Kelly Shon.)

 

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112th North and South Amateur Championship — Meet the elite

PINEHURST, N.C. – The goal is obvious.

No player entered into the 112th North and South Amateur Championship is coming to Pinehurst without dreams of adding his name to the distinguished list of champions. The longest consecutive running amateur championship in the United States, the North and South’s prestige has long been well documented, its past champions among the most recognizable and celebrated names in the history of golf.

Before one of them etches his name in history on July 7, here’s a chance to get to know a few of the top players entered into the field.

JIM LIU

16, Smithtown, NY

The Player: The No. 1 collegiate prospect for the Class of 2013…Committed to play at Stanford…Four-time U.S. Kids champion (2002, 2004, 2005, 2006)…Broke Tiger Woods’ record when he became the youngest winner, at 14, of the U.S. Junior Amateur in 2010…Ranked 8th among top U.S. amateurs….Shot 59 at 9 years old at Plantation Junior Golf Tour event…Ranked No. 5 in Golfweek/Titleist Junior Rankings…Has four runner-up finishes in 2012.

What he’s saying: “Pinehurst has a storied and rich history. It’s courses have hosted numerous major amateur and professional championships. When you realize all of great moments in golf that have occurred at Pinehurst, it makes playing such courses something special. Also, with great practice facilities and eight great courses, Pinehurst is a golfer’s dream.
“The championship will play long and tough, especially in the heat. I think that you will need to pace yourself well and limit as many mistakes as you can to get into match play, because match play can be anyone’s game.
“ It will be interesting to see how the new (old) layout will play. The character of the course is completely different, and it will be a challenging test because it is new to everyone.”

DAVID ERDY

22, Boonville, IN, College: Indiana

The Player: Runner-up at 2011 North and South Amateur, falling 5 and 4 to Jack Fields…Graduated from Indiana in 2012…Will be making his third appearance at the North and South…Qualified for the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black…Grouped with stars Lee Westwood and Zach Johnson… Finished his stellar Hoosier career with IU’s sixth lowest career scoring average (73.61)…Named Academic All-Big Ten in 2011…Named All-American Scholar in 2011…Named Big Ten Golfer of the Week (March 21, 2012).

DAVID MILLS

20, Evansville, IN, College: Indiana

The Player: Reached second round of match play in first appearance at North and South in 2011…Rising senior at Indiana…Shot 7-under 63 to qualify for the Nationwide Tour’s United Leasing Championship, which is played a week before the North and South, beginning on June 28…Shot course record 62 during high school conference championship tournament…Finished 4th at 2012 Big Ten Golf Championship…Named to 2012 Big Ten All-Conference First team…Father Rick will caddie.

TAE WAN LEE

17, Orlando, FL

The Player: Born in Seoul, Korea…Member of the 2009, 2010 Korea National Team…Ranked 27th on the Golfweek/Titleist Junior Rankings…Had first hole-in-one at age 9…Four top-6 finishes in 2012…Runner-up at Western Junior and Terra Cotta Invitational…Father Yeong Cheol Lee will caddie.

DAVID LEE

17, Houston, TX

The Player: Committed to Southern Methodist…Tied for second at PGA Junior Championship last August…Ranked 34th on the Golfweek/Titleist Junior Rankings…Runner up at AJGA HP Boys Championship…Has had 12 hole-in-ones, including six in 2008…Made match play round at 2011 U.S. Amateur…Scored ace at 2009 U.S. Junior Amateur…Won U.S. Open local qualifier in 2011.

PETER WILLIAMSON

21, Hanover, NH College: Dartmouth

The Player: Ranked 29th in Golfweek’s Individual Collegiate rankings…Finished 5th in 2012 NCAA Central Regional…Three-time Ivy League champion, including 2012…Runner-up at 2012 Philadelphia Big 5 Invitational…4-time All-Ivy League…4-time Ping All-Northeast…2012 Byron Nelson Award Finalist…Winner of Dartmouth’s Kenneth Archibald Award for best all-around athlete with regards to Academic standing and moral worth…Named Ivy League Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year in 2009.

What he’s saying: “Winning at Pinehurst with such a rich history and competitive field would validate my continued growth as a golfer.”

CURTIS THOMPSON

19, Coral Springs, FL, College: LSU

The Player: Sister is LPGA Tour star Alexis Thompson…Has forged his own path in golf… One of the nation’s premier prep prospects for the Class of 2011 … Emerged as one of the most highly-recruited prospects nationally after winning medalist honors in the stroke play competition at the 2010 United States Junior Amateur Championship held at Egypt Valley Country Club in Grand Rapids, Mich. … Fired rounds of 4-under 68 and 6-under 66 for a 36-hole score of 10-under par 134 to earn the No. 1 overall seed in the match play competition at the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur … Won medalist honors by one stroke over the defending U.S. Junior Champion Jordan Speith of Dallas, Texas … Went on to qualify for the Round of 32 in match play … Also qualified for the match play competition at the 2009 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship held at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. … Signed with LSU as a Top 25 recruit in the country for the Class of 2011 by both the National Junior Golf Scoreboard (16) and Golfweek Junior Rankings (24) … Was also the No. 51-ranked recruit nationally for the 2011 signing class in the Polo Junior Golf Rankings … Also ranked among the Top 100 junior golfers in the country regardless of class in the National Junior Golf Scoreboard (24), Golfweek Junior Rankings (42) and Polo Junior Golf Rankings (89) … Was the No. 3-ranked recruit in the state of Florida for the Class of .

MIKE MILLER

20, Brewster, NY, College: Penn State

The Player: Reached second round of North and South match play in 2011…Named 2011 Metropolitan Golf Association Player of the Year…2010 U.S. Amateur participant, advancing to the first round of match play…Recently finished T4 at Lytham Trophy Amateur and Irish Amateur…Ranked 17 in AmateurGolf.com’s U.S. amateurs.

 

 

 

 

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