Lee Lopez (left) and Stephanie Kim on the 17th green during the second round of match play at the 2011 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship at Rhode Island Country Club in Barrington, R.I. on Thursday, August 11, 2011. (Copyright USGA/Steven Gibbons)
BARRINGTON, R.I. – Northern Arizona junior Stephanie Kim lost to Lee Lopez 2 and 1 in the round of 32 at the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship held at Rhode Island Country Club. Kim, who will be a junior at NAU in the fall, reached the match play of her second consecutive USGA event this summer. She lost in the round of 64 in at the U.S. Women's Public Links earlier this summer.
Kim got off to a fast start on Thursday and led by three after the first four holes, winning three consecutive holes starting with the 390-yard par 4 second with a par. She also birdied the third and fourth holes to build the quick advantage.
"I started off playing really well and made some good putts," said Kim. "Lee did not start out that strong"
But Lee, who plays at UCLA and finished the season ranked 24th by GolfWeek and 27th by GolfStat, won three straight holes starting at the eighth. Trailing by three, the Whittier, Calif., native took advantage of a bogey by Kim on the hole and then recorded back-to-back birdies to square up the match on the 10th hole.
"I played decent after that but she started sinking everything," said Kim. "She made so many putts. I think she one-putted almost everything on the back nine. It was hard to beat that but it was fun."
After both players got par on the 11th hole, Lee won three straight holes from 12-14 that eventually sealed the match. Kim pulled within in two at the 15th hole with a birdie but the match was won when both players recorded par on the 16th and 17th holes.
"I fought until the very end today and there are no regrets," said Kim. "I am very happy with how I played all week."
Head Coach Brad Bedortha will pay dividends for the Lumberjacks entering the season.
"Stephanie has had a fabulous summer," said Head Coach Brad Bedortha. "She just got beat by a player who played a little better today. From a confidence level, it is huge for her to have success at these events. It is another step in the process for her to keep getting better."
The Lumberjacks open the season Couuer d'Alene Casino Resort and Circling Raven Collegiate Invitational on Sept. 12 in Spokane, Wash.
USGA Championship History
2011 U.S. Women's Amateur, Rhode Island Country Club, Barrington, Rhode Island, lost to Lee Lopez, Whittier, Calif., 2 and 1, Round of 32
2011 U.S. Women's Amateur, Rhode Island Country Club, Barrington, Rhode Island, Def. Pamela Pretswell (Scotland), 19 holes, Round of 64
2011 U.S. Women's Amateur, Rhode Island Country Club, Barrington, Rhode Island, 71-76, T55th
2011 U.S Women's Amateur Public Links, Bandon Dunes GC, Bandon Dunes, Ore., Lost to Ket Preamchuen of Kennesaw, Ga. 19 holes, Round of 64
2011 U.S Women's Amateur Public Links, Bandon Dunes GC, Bandon Dunes, Ore., 78-78, T42nd
2011 U.S Women's Amateur Public Links Qualifying, Trilogy GC at Power Ranch, Gilbert, Ariz., 73, 3rd
2010 U.S. Women's Amateur, Charlotte Country Club, Charlotte, N.C., 84-82, T151st
2010 U.S. Women's Amateur Qualifying, Desert Forest Golf Club, Carefree, Ariz., 78, T1st
2010 U.S. Women's Public Links Qualifying, DNA