Defending champion only player under par at 2012 championship July 15, 2012 By Christina Lance, USGA

Nicole Morales plays a shot around a tree at the par-5 ninth during Monday's first round of stroke-play qualifying. The 16-year-old from South Salem, N.Y., shot a 74, three behind leader Ariya Jutanugarn. (Steve Gibbons/USGA)

Daly City, Calif. – New year, same result.

Defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn continued her mastery of the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship on Monday, carding a 1-under 71 for the only sub-par score of the first round of stroke-playing qualifying at the 6,291-yard, par-72 Lake Merced Golf Club.

With temperatures hovering in the 50s and winds gusting as high as 23 miles per hour, Jutanugarn managed four birdies against three bogeys on a golf course where the scoring average was just more than 81.

Jutanugarn pointed to her putting as what kept her score from running even lower.

Everything today was so good for me but I missed [putts from] 4 feet like three times, said the 16-year-old Thai. I have to work more on my putter. My drives were so good, my approach shots are still good, but I missed a lot of short putts.

Jutanugarn is attempting to become the first player since Inbee Park in 2003-05 to earn medalist honors in consecutive seasons. She could also become only the third consecutive champion in Girls’ Junior history, joining recent World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Hollis Stacy (1969-71) and Judy Eller (1957-58). However, she is doing her best not to rely on her 2011 success.

I was the champion last year, but I just do my best every day, said Jutanugarn. I just want to do what I want to do here.

Two newcomers competing in their first USGA championship are right on Jutanugarn’s heel. Canadian Brogan McKinnon, 17, sits one stroke back at even-par 72, followed by Kathleen Gallagher, 15, of Greenwood, Miss., who held the lead following the morning wave at 1-over 73.

McKinnon got off to a hot start with an opening birdie on the par-4 10th hole, her first hole of the round. However, a double bogey on the ensuing par-4 11th and another bogey at the par-4 13th dampened her early excitement.

I was off to a rough start after birdieing the first hole, said McKinnon, who won the 2010 Toronto Star Women’s Amateur at age 15. It was a bit disappointing.

However, a momentum-shifting eagle at the par-5, 447-yard 14th hole sparked McKinnon’s comeback.

Getting back to even after the eagle really turned everything around and I just kept the momentum going all day, said McKinnon, who added two more birdies and two bogeys over her final 13 holes.

Gallagher, the daughter of PGA Tour player Jim Gallagher Jr. and former LPGA Tour player/reinstated amateur Cissye Gallagher, became the third member of the family to qualify for a USGA championship. With her older brother Thomas on the bag and mom watching from the gallery, Gallagher played Lake Merced like a seasoned pro. However, shooting a 73 went far beyond her expectations.

I was just real excited about being here, said Gallagher, the junior medalist at the 2011 Mississippi Women’s Golf Association’s State Amateur Championship. I played really well in my qualifier and I was excited. I’ve been trying to play in this thing for about two years and this year was good.

World No. 1 Lydia Ko, 15, of New Zealand leads a contingent of five golfers three strokes off the lead at 2-over 74.

Coming off her low-amateur performance at the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open at Blackwolf Run, Ko was disappointed with her performance at her first Girls’ Junior.

I think I couldn’t have hit the ball any better, said Ko, winner of the 2011 Mark H. McCormack Medal for topping the Women’s World Amateur Golf Rankings. I was pleased with my long game. My chipping wasn’t too bad. My putting just let me down today. I had many 6-foot birdie putts and I was never able to execute any.

I was pretty gutted … Hopefully my putting will help me tomorrow and I think I’ll be able to shoot some lower scores.

Karen Chung, 17, of New Jersey, the 2008 runner-up, finished at 5-over 77, while 17-year-old Alison Lee, of Valencia, Calif., the only player other than Ko to make the cut at the Women’s Open, carded a 6-over 78. Katelyn Dambaugh, 17, of Goose Creek, S.C., the 2010 runner-up, returned a 7-over 79.

The 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior will continue Tuesday with the second round of stroke-play qualifying. Following stroke play, the 156-player field will be trimmed to 64 for match play, which begins on Wednesday and concludes with the 36-hole final on Saturday.

The U.S. Girls’ Junior is one of 13 championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.  

Christina Lance is a coordinator of championship communications for the USGA. Email her at clance@usga.org. 


Olympia Fields, Ill. – Results from the first round of stroke-play qualifying at the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, being conducted at the 6,291-yard, par-72 Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City, Calif.: 

Ariya Jutanugarn, Thailand - 35-36–71

Brogan McKinnon, Canada - 35-37–72

Kathleen Gallagher, Greenwood, Miss. - 37-36–73

Brooke Mackenzie Henderson, Canada - 39-35–74

Jordan Ferreira, University Place, Wash. - 38-36–74

Gigi Stoll, Beaverton, Ore. - 39-35–74

Nicole Morales, South Salem, N.Y. - 38-36–74

Lydia Ko, New Zealand - 36-38–74

Mikayla Harmon, Gilbert, Ariz. - 37-38–75

Annie Park, Levittown, N.Y. - 40-35–75

Courtney Dow, Frisco, Texas - 37-38–75

Lilia Kha-Tu Vu, Fountain Valley, Calif. - 36-39–75

Marijosse Navarro, Mexico - 38-37–75

Hee Wook Choi, San Diego, Calif. - 37-38–75

Mika Liu, Beverly Hills, Calif. - 39-37–76

Jisoo Keel, Canada - 39-37–76

Yu Liu, Ppls Rep. of China - 39-37–76

Summar Roachell, Conway, Ark. - 37-39–76

Casey Danielson, Osceola, Wis. - 38-38–76

Elisabeth Bernabe, Anaheim Hills, Calif. - 39-38–77

Shawn Rennegarbe, Addieville, Ill. - 38-39–77

Allisen Corpuz, Honolulu, Hawaii - 37-40–77

Monica Vaughn, Reedsport, Ore. - 40-37–77

Kathleen Scavo, Benicia, Calif. - 39-38–77

Samantha Wagner, Windermere, Fla. - 42-35–77

McKenzie Neisen, New Prague, Minn. - 41-36–77

Anne Freman, Las Vegas, Nev. - 40-37–77

Karen Chung, Livingston, N.J. - 40-37–77

Alison Lee, Valencia, Calif. - 40-38–78

Su-Hyun Oh, Australia - 36-42–78

Minjia Luo, San Diego, Calif. - 36-42–78

Alana Uriell, Carlsbad, Calif. - 37-41–78

Rinko Mitsunaga, Roswell, Ga. - 36-42–78

Rachel Dai, Milton, Ga. - 39-39–78

Monet Flores, Litchfield Park, Ariz. - 38-40–78

Jennifer Yu, Huntington Beach, Calif. - 40-38–78

Grace Chua, Canada - 40-38–78

Sophia Chen, Newbury Park, Calif. - 38-40–78

Stephanie Lau, Fullerton, Calif. - 39-39–78

Minjee Lee, Australia - 40-39–79

Cha Cha Willhoite, Palm Desert, Calif. - 40-39–79

Evelyn Dole, Raleigh, N.C. - 39-40–79

Morgan Messick, Tucson, Ariz. - 39-40–79

Anne Cheng, Torrance, Calif. - 39-40–79

Ashlan Ramsey, Milledgeville, Ga. - 37-42–79

Ju Hee Bae, Chantilly, Va. - 38-41–79

Taylor Totland, Tinton Falls, N.J. - 40-39–79

Ji Eun Baik, Newnan, Ga. - 40-39–79

Euna Pak, Irvine, Calif. - 41-38–79

Kendall Gray, Federal Way, Wash. - 38-41–79

Kelli Murphy, Elgin, S.C. - 41-38–79

Maddie Szeryk, Allen, Texas - 41-38–79

Amy Lee, Brea, Calif. - 40-39–79

Lauren Diaz-Yi, Thousand Oaks, Calif. - 38-41–79

Katelyn Dambaugh, Goose Creek, S.C. - 38-41–79

Lyberty Anderson, Chesterfield, Va. - 40-40–80

Gabriella Then, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. - 40-40–80

Alexandra Sborov, Pleasanton, Calif. - 43-37–80

Taylor Tomlinson, Gainesville, Fla. - 39-41–80

Youngin Chun, Korea - 40-40–80

Erica Herr, New Hope, Pa. - 40-40–80

Kelsey Badmaev, Blythewood, S.C. - 41-39–80

Hannah Wood, Centennial, Colo. - 44-36–80

Yueer Feng, Orlando, Fla. - 39-41–80

Sophie Kitchen, Canada - 42-38–80

Alice Jeong, Gardena, Calif. - 39-41–80

Eimi Koga, Honolulu, Hawaii - 42-38–80

Bailey Tardy, Norcross, Ga. - 37-43–80

Callie Scheffler, Dallas, Texas - 41-39–80

Julia Beck, Austin, Texas - 42-38–80

Isabella Skinner, Cumming, Ga. - 43-38–81

Alexandra Kaui, Kapolei, Hawaii - 43-38–81

Megan Khang, Rockland, Mass. - 41-40–81

Anne Willman, Prairie Village, Kan. - 40-41–81

Haley Mills, Tyler, Texas - 41-40–81

Kristen Gillman, Austin, Texas - 41-40–81

Naomi Ko, Canada - 41-40–81

Brooke McDougald, The Woodlands, Texas - 37-44–81

Camilla Vik, Greenwich, Conn. - 39-42–81

Hannah Pietila, Brighton, Mich. - 43-38–81

Chloe Bartek, Vancouver, Wash. - 39-42–81

Lauren Johnson, Chattanooga, Tenn. - 41-40–81

Felicia Paulina Medalla, Philippines - 42-40–82

Catherina Li, Kent, Wash. - 42-40–82

Maria Torres, Puerto Rico - 40-42–82

Isabel Southard, Sharon, Mass. - 41-41–82

Reona Hirai, Summerville, S.C. - 41-41–82

Samantha Gotcher, Clarksville, Tenn. - 38-44–82

Casie Cathrea, Livermore, Calif. - 41-41–82

Tatiana Pineda, Colombia - 44-38–82

Kelly Grassel, Chesterton, Ind. - 41-41–82

Lauren Gros, Championsgate, Fla. - 41-41–82

Gabby Barker, Caldwell, Idaho - 43-39–82

Danielle Lee, La Mirada, Calif. - 38-44–82

Rosanna Lederhausen, Hinsdale, Ill. - 42-40–82

Katherine Sborov, Pleasanton, Calif. - 40-42–82

Lydia Choi, Beverly Hills, Calif. - 43-40–83

Bryana Nguyen, Columbia, Md. - 39-44–83

Elizabeth Doty, Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. - 43-40–83

Jordan Keyser, Ahwahnee, Calif. - 44-39–83

Blakesly Warren, Chattanooga, Tenn. - 40-43–83

Emily Campbell, Carrollton, Texas - 43-40–83

Taylor Kim, Canada - 42-41–83

Nancy Xu, Sunnyvale, Calif. - 42-41–83

Lindsey McCurdy, Kyle, Texas - 44-39–83

Elsa Moberly, Science Hill, Ky. - 40-43–83

Marianne Li, Bellevue, Wash. - 44-39–83

Bree Wanderscheid, Goldendale, Wash. - 40-43–83

Maddie Rose Hamilton, Louisville, Ky. - 41-42–83

Haylee Harford, Leavittsburg, Ohio - 43-41–84

Katherine Smith, Detroit Lakes, Minn. - 46-38–84

Maggie Beth Byers, San Antonio, Texas - 44-40–84

Hallie Getz, Pierre, S.D. - 42-42–84

Kristine Odaiyar, Ocala, Fla. - 40-44–84

Tatiana Wijaya, Australia - 42-42–84

Abbey Carlson, Lake Mary, Fla. - 37-47–84

Maddie McCrary, Wylie, Texas - 45-39–84

Eunice Yi, Evans, Ga. - 39-45–84

Princess Mary Superal, Philippines - 45-39–84

Jackie Rogowicz, Yardley, Pa. - 42-42–84

Tatum Jackson, Mountain Brook, Ala. - 44-40–84

Madison Talley, Clarksville, Ark. - 41-43–84

Amanda Ploener, Chadds Ford, Pa. - 40-44–84

Lakareber Abe, Angleton, Texas - 48-37–85

Brooke Ferrell, Edgerton, Wis. - 44-41–85

Ciera Min, Hilo, Hawaii - 42-43–85

Lauren Stephenson, Lexington, S.C. - 44-41–85

Grace Park, Cupertino, Calif. - 45-40–85

Megan Kim, Redondo Beach, Calif. - 42-43–85

Haliee Pieper, Watertown, S.D. - 42-43–85

Allison Lindley, Kokomo, Ind. - 43-43–86

Kim Cifuentes, Gilbert, Ariz. - 44-42–86

Calli Ringsby, Cherry Hills Village, Colo. - 43-43–86

Sabrina Bonanno, Norridge, Ill. - 40-46–86

Sydney Needham, Villa Rica, Ga. - 45-41–86

Kelly McGovern, The Woodlands, Texas - 45-41–86

Hannah O'Sullivan, Cupertino, Calif. - 45-42–87

Gabrielle Curtis, Eau Claire, Wis. - 43-44–87

Danielle Crilley, East Lansing, Mich. - 45-42–87

Yvonne Zheng, Bradenton, Fla. - 46-41–87

Christine Schmitt, Pittsford, N.Y. - 43-44–87

Lucia Polo, Guatemala - 44-43–87

Kaylee Benton, Cabot, Ark. - 43-44–87

Jordan Webb, Frankfort, Ky. - 44-44–88

Hannah Kim, Chula Vista, Calif. - 42-46–88

Saya Aono, Japan - 44-44–88

Taylor Coleman, San Antonio, Texas - 42-47–89

Maria Jose Fassi, Mexico - 48-41–89

Stephanie Pribonic, Wake Forest, N.C. - 48-42–90

Taylor Dorans, Erie, Colo. - 43-47–90

Emily Gilbreth, Bellaire, Texas - 46-44–90

Avery French, Laguna Niguel, Calif. - 48-42–90

Klara Castillo, Albuquerque, N.M. - 45-46–91

Jane Hopkinson-Wood, Pottstown, Pa. - 49-42–91

Zora Gittens, Parkland, Fla. - 47-45–92

Sophia Schubert, Oak Ridge, Tenn. - WD-WD–WD