Thompson qualifies for Women's Amateur

McNicholas also advances to August championship

July 23, 2002|By SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Jennifer Thompson of Timonium returned a par-equaling 72, and edged Natalie McNicholas of Lutherville by a stroke to win the medal in local qualifying for the U.S. Women's Amateur championship, played in hot, windy weather at Beechtree Golf Club in Aberdeen yesterday.

In qualifying for the second time, Thompson, 29, a member at Chestnut Ridge Country Club, finished with three birdies and three bogeys for the 6,221 yards. She said she "played smart and was able to avoid the bunkers" in shooting 37-35, a round that included two three-putts among a total of 32.

McNicholas, 35, from Baltimore Country Club, made it for the first time after several years of trying without success. A 39-34, her best qualifying score, included playing the last 11 holes 2-under par with birdies at the 15th and 16th. She ended with 29 putts.

A field of 30 was after five available places, and it took a score of 76 to make it. The others were Corrie Tayman, a recent James Madison University graduate from Bethesda who shot a 75, Kim Strong of Nottingham, Pa., and Jamee Plastow of Dushore, Pa., both at 76. The championship will be held Aug. 12-18, in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Among those failing to advance were former Maryland State Women's Amateur champions Mallory Crosland of Bethesda and Andrea Kraus of Baltimore, and current titleholder Jessica Lewis of Bethesda. Crosland had a critical double bogey at the 12th and shot 77; Lewis and Kraus had putting woes and had 77 and 78, respectively.

Qualifiers: Jennifer Thompson, Timonium, 37-35-72; Natalie McNicholas, Baltimore CC, 39-34-73; Corrie Tayman, Bethesda, 35-40-75; Kim Strong, Nottingham, Pa., 40-36-76; Jamee Plastow, Dushore, Pa. Alternates: x-Mallory Crosland, Bethesda, 38-39-77; y-Tracy Bolger, Haddonfield, N.J., 37-40-77; z-Jessica Lewis, Bethesda, 39-38-77; Tara Joy-Connelly, Ambler, Pa., 36-42-78.

Area scorers included: Andrea Kraus, Baltimore, 38-40-78; Laura Terebey, St. Michael's, 42-39-81; Connie Isler, Annapolis, 38-45-83; Sandy Scitti, Baltimore, 41-43-84; Stacy Kress, Baltimore, 40-44-84; Katie Elliott, Baltimore, 43-42-85. x-parred third extra hole; y-bogeyed third extra hole; z-bogeyed second extra hole.

U.S. Girls' Junior: Stephanie Connelly of Pasadena shot 3-over par and was tied for 13th after the first round of the 54th annual event at Echo Lake Country Club in Westfield, N.J. Only one player broke par-72, In-Bee Park of Eustis, Fla., and only 56 of the 156-player field broke 80.

Other area scorers were Theresa Paik, Silver Spring, 81; Jenny Suh, Fairfax, Va., 83; Michelle Grilli, Pikesville, 84; and Julia Huh, Pasadena, 84. A second round today will determine the 64 players for match play, beginning tomorrow.

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