NEWTON, Mass. -- What began as a cold day for Jenny Chuasiriporn soon became a long and frustrating outing, as the Timonium resident struggled in the first round of the 97th U.S. Women's Amateur Championship.
Chuasiriporn opened with an 80 at Brae Burn Country Club in 60-degree temperatures yesterday. But the scores in general were high, and early indications are that the cut would be at 160.
"I can't play much worse," said Chuasiriporn, 20. "I got off to a slow start and could not get into a rhythm in the back nine."
Chuasiriporn bogeyed six of the first nine holes, including a double-bogey on seven for a score of 42. She got a couple of birdies and finished the back nine with a 38.
After coming in as one of the favorites, yesterday's showing was discouraging for Chuasiriporn.
"I'm pretty disappointed," said the junior at Duke. "I don't really feel any pressure. I just try to play a steady game. Of course, now I might feel a little more pressure to make the cut."
That should not be a problem, though. Only four players finished below par (73). Virginia Grimes, who went out early and shot a 70, had the lead for most of the day.
"I had the putter working," said Grimes, of Montgomery, Ala. "I just tried to hit the fairways and stay out of trouble."
The lead stood until 19-year-old Hee Won Hahn, from Seoul, South Korea, shot a course-record 68.
"I'm very excited," said Hahn through an interpreter. "Every hole here is very difficult."
Chuasiriporn believes things can only get better. After teeing off yesterday at 11: 57 a.m., she spent the next 5 1/2 hours on the course. Her tee time for today is 8: 22 a.m.
"It's been a long day," said Chuasiriporn. "It will be nice to get out there early tomorrow [today], so I won't be thinking about it [making the cut] all day."
Two other Maryland residents are competing. Andrea Kraus of Baltimore and Leland Beckel of Bethesda each shot an 80. Kraus shot a 42 in the front nine, but came back with a 38. Beckel was among the leaders with a 38 after nine holes and finished tied for 56th place, along with Kraus and Chuasiriporn. The top 64 players make the cut after today's second round.
Sally Voss Krueger, a former area champion from Bethesda now living in San Francisco, shot an 83.
Pub Date: 8/05/97