Aug. 17, 2010
MALIBU, Calif. --- Pepperdine sophomore Danielle Kang overcame her underdog status and captured the biggest title of her young career when she won the 2010 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship at Charlotte (N.C.) Country Club on Sunday.
In the 36-hole final, Kang (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Westlake HS) defeated Jessica Korda, 2 & 1, to conclude a tremendous week of golf and win her first USGA title.
Most experts pegged Korda as the favorite, though Kang led the majority of the contest. With the match all square after 33 holes, Kang won both the 34th and 35th to claim the victory.
Kang had five birdies during the first round and was two holes up after the first five. Her lead never got any bigger, but she still finished the first round with a two-hole lead.
Kang maintained an advantage until the 27th hole when Korda finally evened the match up with a birdie. Korda took her only lead on the 30th hole when Kang hit into the bunker and conceded Korda's birdie putt.
On the 32nd hole, a par-4, the match went back to all square when Korda missed her long birdie attempt and Kang sank a 5-footer for birdie. The players then halved the 33rd hole with pars.
With three holes remaining and the match still tied, the par-4 34th hole went Kang's way when Korda hit her second shot into a bunker and couldn't beat Kang's par on the hole.
On the par-3 35th hole, both players hit terrific initial shots not far from the hole. But Korda's 7-foot putt lipped out, and Kang sank her 4-foot putt for birdie to end the match and win the championship.
Earlier in the week, Kang tied for 10th place during the stroke play portion of the U.S. Amateur with an even-par 144 (74-70). She defeated Grace Na (3 & 2) in the first round, 14-year-old Gabriella Then (5 & 3) in the second round, Arizona State's Juliana Murcia Ortiz (1 up) in the third round, UCLA's Sydnee Michaels (19 holes) in the quarterfinals and Alabama's Jennifer Kirby (1 up) in the semifinals.
The victory capped off an outstanding summer for Kang, who ended her first collegiate season with a tie for 15th place at the NCAA Championships and earned All-American second team honors from Golfweek. She qualified for the U.S. Women's Open for the second time and went on to be one of only six amateurs to make the cut before ending up in 64th place.She also had a second-place showing at the Canadian Women's Amateur, and Kang was the medalist in the stroke-play portion of the U.S. Junior Girls Championship before losing in the quarterfinals of match play to the eventual champion. That was the second time that Kang has been the medalist in stroke play at a USGA championship, having also earned that distinction at the 2009 U.S. Women's Amateur.
The Waves begin their 2010-11 season at the NCAA Fall Preview, hosted by Texas A&M, on September 13-15.
Courtesy of Pepperdine Sports Information