The Norman Transcript

June 21, 2013

Yang in her element

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Every player who teed off at the Women’s Amateur Public Links Thursday was hoping for a long day. Winning twice and advancing to quarterfinals required two successful trips around the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.

However, Julie Yang saw more of the course than anyone else. She had to play 39 holes to get her wins.

“You really had to be patient and stay calm and stay in the moment,” said Yang, who plays for Oklahoma State. “It was really a long day. It was easy to daydream out there, but I think I managed it. I think that’s the main reason I won my matches.”

Yang beat Westmoore graduate Jade Staggs in 20 holes Thursday morning. She followed it up with a 19-hole victory against Kelly Shon in Thursday’s final match.

The elements might have played to Yang’s advantage. She enrolled at OSU at the start of the spring semester. Prior to that, she spent part of her youth being schooled in Scotland.

“With a windy day like today, I think my experience in Scotland helped,” Yang said. “This is a normal day in Scotland.”

Picking a club: The wind consistently blew at 25 miles per hour during Thursday afternoon’s matches. It affected putts and made picking a club a chore.

Some players handled it better than others.

“Into the wind, I was hitting two clubs more. Downwind, I was hitting one less,” said Krystal Quihuis, who will meet Lauren Diaz-Yi at 7:40 a.m. today. “It just depended on where you were and what direction you were hitting.”

One Trojan left: Doris Chen is the last remaining USC player in the field. Three members of the USC women’s golf team were in the top four after 36 holes of stroke play.

However, Kyung Kim, who won the 2012 WAPL, lost in the second round Thursday morning. Co-medalist Annie Park, the 2013 NCAA champion, lost in the first round on Wednesday.

Balky putter: Oklahoma’s Chirapat Jao-Javanil had her tournament end with a 2-and-1 loss to Raychelle Santos Thursday afternoon.

Jao-Javanil had been saying since Monday that she still needed her putter to come around to have a shot at winning the event.

It didn’t happen.

“I definitely misread some putts,” she said. “My putting, it was just — wherever the hole was, (the ball) just went the other way. (Santos) had some pretty good up-and-downs, too, so I also have to give it up to her. But I was kind of giving shots up that I feel I normally wouldn’t. I think I also misjudged the wind a little bit. It was gusting a lot more in the afternoon.

“But I’m not disappointed. I gave it everything I had.”

Teenagers reign: Of the eight quarterfinalists, only two are older than 20. OU’s Anne-Catherine Tanguay is 21 years old and Chen is 20. The other six are all teenagers.

What did they win? All eight of the quarterfinalists earned exemptions into the 2014 WAPL to be contested at The Home Course in DuPont, Wash.