South Korea's Eun Jeong Seong wins US Women's Amateur
SPRINGFIELD, Pa. (AP) South Korea's Eun Jeong Seong won the U.S. Women's Amateur on Sunday at Rolling Green to become the first player to win the event and U.S. Girls' Junior in the same year.
The 16-year-old Seong outlasted Italy's Virginia Elena Carta 1 up in hot conditions in the 36-hole final, the first all-international championship match in 106 years.
''I can't believe today,'' Seong said. ''But today is different feeling because I made history. That's why I feel so amazing.''
The 19-year-old Carta, coming off her freshman season at Duke, overcame a dizzy spell that forced a 15-minute delay after the 31st hole.
''I mean, I was not feeling good at all,'' Carta said. ''I was like shaking, and that was not a good feeling.''
She was trying to become the second player to win the tournament and NCAA individual title in the same year.
''I don't think I actually lost the match, the championship,'' Carta said. ''Of course, I did not win it, but at the same time, it's not like saying I lost today.''
Seong won her second straight U.S. Girls' Junior title last month at Ridgewood in New Jersey.
The finalists earned spots in the U.S. Women's Open next year at Trump National in New Jersey, and the winner also traditionally receives exemptions into the ANA Inspiration, Women's British Open and Evian Championship - all only if still an amateur.
Seong took the lead with a birdie on the par-5 25th hole and won the par-4 29th with a birdie for a 2-up advantage. Carta took the par-4 31st with a par to Seong's double bogey, and Seong rebounded with a par win on the par-3 34th. Carta won the par-5 35th with a 30-foot birdie putt, and Seong missed a chance to end it when her 10-footer burned the right edge. Seong ran in a 40-footer for birdie on the par-4 36th and conceded Carta's 25-footer to close out the match.
''My hands were shaking,'' Seong said. ''I'm 1 up, and if I lose this hole, I can go to playoff. I just think, `Please two-putt, please two-putt.' But I made it. I'm surprised.''
Seong also became the third female player to win multiple USGA championships in the same year. Pearl Sinn won the Women's Amateur and Women's Amateur Public Links in 1988, and Jennifer Song swept the same events in 2009. Seong is 25-4 in USGA match-play championships.
Her mother watched her win in person after missing her two Junior victories.
''Yeah, special to me,'' Seong said. ''After 18, she was crying a little bit, but it's OK. She's just happy now.''
Carta won the NCAA title in May in Oregon as a Duke freshman. She was trying to join Vicki Goetze (1992) as the only players to win the Amateur and NCAA in the same year, and the sixth to win both titles. Carta also missed a chance to become the second Italian winner, following Silvia Cavalleri in 1997.
In 1910 in the last previous all-international final, Dorothy Campbell, a Scot who was living in Canada, beat England's Mrs. G.M. Martin at Homewood in Illinois.
Hannah O'Sullivan, the Chandler, Arizona, teen who won last year in Portland, Oregon, skipped her title defense. She played last week in the Women's British Open.