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McCurdy Moves Up At U.S. Women’s Open After Third Round

BY ANDRES FOCIL
McCurdy Moves Up At U.S. Women’s Open After Third Round

CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, COLORADO – Lady Razorback junior Amanda McCurdy turned in a solid performance at the 60th U.S. Women’s Open firing a third round even-par 71 which moved her up into a tie for 30th. A bogey on 18 prevented McCurdy from finishing the round under par and left her rather frustrated. “It’s hard not to be frustrated, which I am because I bogeyed the last hole after hitting the best shot I hit all day but it went past the hole and over the green.”, said the El Dorado native. “I still have tomorrow but I battled around and had 3 birdies and 3 bogeys so I really can’t complain too much.” Her round got off to a flying start as she knocked in a 7-footer for birdie on the opening hole. McCurdy followed that birdie with 6 solid pars heading into the par-3 206-yard 8th. After her tee shot came up short on the front the green, her flat stick proved magical as she drained a slightly breaking 54-foot putt for birdie causing the gallery to explode and moving her to 2-under par for the day. “That was a lot of fun, I started walking with it so I was glad it went in. That was good momentum builder.” A bogey on nine put her at 1-under at the turn but after a par on 10, the momentum would continue on the 522-yard par-5 11th. A perfect drive left her with a reachable downhill shot to a back to front sloping green. Determined to go for it, McCurdy’s second shot was right on line landing just in the front of the green and rolling up past the hole setting up a possible eagle. Surprisingly the 15-foot downhill putt proved slower than it looked as McCurdy’s eagle attempt came up short leaving a testy 3 footer for birdie that she sank to move back to 2-under for the day. Suddenly her name appeared on the leaderboard among the best rounds of the day to that point. The trend of birdie-bogey unfortunately continued as her six-and-a-half foot par putt on the par-3 12th refused to fall instead burning the right edge leaving a tap-in bogey putt. Solid shot making left to 2 2-putt pars on 13 and 14 while impressive up and down on 15 for par from in front of the green to the back hole kept McCurdy at one-under heading into the dreaded par-4 16th which has been her nemesis this week. Her tee shot on 16 was perfectly placed on the right side of the fairway, a location from which her second shot found not trouble but the middle of the green drawing cheers of relief from those following the Arkansas native. She would two putt for par, her first par on the hole all week. “Yea, but I’m still frustrated,” cracked a smiling McCurdy, “because I thought I should have hit a better shot into the green and made a better putt but I guess I’m too picky. A three-shot improvement on a hole in one day is good so I’ll take and maybe I’ll get a birdie there tomorrow.” A 2-putt par on the par-5 17th put McCurdy at one-under for the day with one to play, the 459-yard par-4 18th which is also the hardest hole on the course. Another prefect drive left a long but reachable uphill approach to the green. Unfortunately the shot would not stop on the green and skipped into the rough behind the green. Her third shot got the ball out of the rough but the contact wasn’t clean enough to advance the ball far enough onto the green leaving a 30 foot put for par, McCurdy had the line but the solidly struck putt needed one more rotation to fall into the cup leaving a tap-in bogey and a third round of even-par 71. “It was more relaxing today because the hard part of making the cut is over. I just went out there and played my game which is not what I really did the first two days.”, explained McCurdy. “I tried then to make sure I didn’t do anything wrong especially that second round. It was just really relaxing today and I just played. I wish I had made a few less bogeys.” “I think Amanda scrambled pretty well, she didn’t hit the ball great but she put herself in good positions and made some birdies. You know even par at the U.S. Women’s Open is outstanding.” noted Arkansas head coach Kelley Hester. McCurdy’s playing partner for Sunday’s final round will be LPGA veteran Catriona Matthew, a two-time winner on the LPGA tour who has played in The Solhiem Cup twice (1998 and 2003) which is the women’s version of the Ryder Cup. They will be the 18th of 32 groups onto the course with a tee time of 9:40 a.m. local time. As for a game plan tomorrow McCurdy noted, “I just want to go out and play well like I did today only without the bogeys. I want to finish in the top 20 so I can be exempt for next year’s Open. “ Currently her three round total of 220 has her tied for 30th, but two shots out of a tie for 16th. McCurdy and her fellow amateurs have taken the Open by storm this week. A pair of amateurs, 15-year old Michelle Wie and 17-year old Morgan Pressel who are tied for the lead with Karen Stupples at one-over par. The last amateur to win the Open was Catherine Lacoste in 1967 despite a final round 79, which is the Open record for highest final round course by a champion. The youngest person to win the Open was 20-yar old Se Ri Pak in 1998. Divots: The El Dorado native hit 12 of 14 fairways on Saturday and 11 greens in regulation which equaled her per round best this week. McCurdy ranks tied for 7th in fairways hit (81%), 22nd in greens in regulation (59%), and 23rd in putting with 1.65 putts per hole ….McCurdy’s playing partner on Saturday was Heather Bowie who shot a 2-under 69 which matched the low round of the day with 3 others including co-leader Karen Stupples…..Bowie is a University of Texas graduate and was the 1997 NCAA individual champion….The Longhorn logo on Bowie’s bag did not escape the eyesight of the Arkansans following McCurdy….Lorena Ochoa’s second round 3-under 68 is the low round of the week….Through 3 rounds, the par-71 layout has played to an average of 75.746 shots per round…The lowest final round score in U.S. Women’s Open history is 65 which Meg Mallon equaled last year in winning….The lowest score for any U.S. Women’s Open round is 63…The biggest deficit overcome to win the Open is 5 shots which has happened 5 times, that last player to do that was Annika Sorenstam in 1995 to win her first major. Ironically, Annika’s win in 1995 happened just up the road in Colorado Springs at Broadmoor Golf Club and she enters tomorrow’s final round 5 shots out of the lead….25 players are within 5 shots of the lead while 34 including McCurdy are 7shots back… ..Most every player coming off 18 stops to sign autographs and thank the fans for attending this week….Kris Tschetter had the day’s first tee time, 6:45 a.m., and declined playing with a marker to go it alone and finished her round in three hours………Brittany Lincicome leads the field in driving average at 283.3 yards. McCurdy averaged 246.5 yards per drive on Saturday but her length off the tee has wowed the crowd all week. There must be a scoring glich because she is ranked last in driving distance this week at 203.7 yards per drive …Approximately 400 media credentials were issued this week with 125 or so going to non-U.S. media members…..It is unique to have walked the course then watch the TV coverage afterwards in the media center. Everything looks so different on TV but then most all of NBC’s TV cameras are at least 45 feet in the air… NBC will carry the final round of the U.S. Women’s Open live from 2pm to 5pm Sunday….. Live scoring and more can be found at the official web site of the U.S. Women’s Open; www.uswomensopen.com……Coverage of McCurdy’s final round at the U.S. Women’s Open can be found after it concludes at Ladybacks.com, the official website of Lady Razorback Athletics.



Sports Category : Golf (W)