Date: July 11, 2008

Stephanie Na & Stacey Keating blog: At play in USA

Stacey Keating writes: US Amateur Qualifying week: well what a week it has been. I arrived in Colorado from Chicago after some lengthy delays at the airports, to the hottest and driest heat I have felt, and the difference in altitude really shocked me. I headed out to the course (Colorado Golf Club) on Saturday with just the plan of getting to know my distances, as the ball travels a lot further in Colorado because of the altitude. So I spent most of the morning trying to figure this one out- and spent the afternoon on the course. What a course- amazing! The most manicured course I have ever seen and the greens had more breaks in them than Adam Gilchrist fingers have ever had! We played it at 6600 yards, which is probably the longest course I have competed at. I spent the next day working on short game and still working out measurements. Then hit off on Monday morning. I played very steady from tee-green, just really couldn’t hole any putts, was frustrating at times- but I felt anything under par would get in. I finished up shooting even par, and I was one of the 1st groups out- so it was a lengthy wait to see if I had qualified! Prior to the round I didn t even find out how many places there were for qualifying as I didn t want any added pressure, but while waiting in the clubhouse afterwards I hear they are only taking 4 people. I get more nervous. But then after a couple of hours I find out I have actually won the event! So I was very excited to qualify let alone win! Very excited about August 4th! Stephanie Na writes: I got off to a solid start, and i was really happy with the way I was hitting it, I gave myself a lot of birdie opportunities early on but unfortunately couldn’t make them. I then double bogeyed the 18th hole which was my 9th and I found myself two-over-par half way through. Turning at two-over-par was frustrating as I felt that I was playing much better than that, so I quickly got over it as i still had another 9 to go and I told myself, I m hitting it really well so if I keep giving myself birdie opportunities that s the best I could do. I then went on to make 3 birdies in a row along with another birdie and a couple bogeys in between the last few holes. As I hit my second shot short into the green side bunker on the long par 4, I missed my par putt and signed for a 72 even par. Then it was the waiting game, not a fun game to play. My card went in and half the field had already been done, my score was sitting in second place behind a 71 (one-under). After waiting a while as the rest of the field came in, I went out to check the scoreboard to find my score sitting at tied 4th with 2 other girls, which mean that was the 6 spots right there, with a couple groups to come in this was a very nerve racking wait.. Luckily for me, there were no more scores that came in below 72!! It is the most relieving feeling to have qualified. I am so happy and excited to be playing in the US Amateur, and I really look forward to it! Unfortunately Kristie Smith didn t play as well as she would have liked, coming in with a 6 over and missing out on qualifying. Now we are all off to North Carolina to play the North and South Amateur at Pinehurst! So all looking forward to that! Stephanie Na and Kristie Smith played at the Horseshoe Bend GC in Georgia.