Annie Thurman Young just completed her second season as the head golf coach at Cal State-Northridge, but this week, she found herself back in familiar territory.
Young was one of the most decorated Oklahoma State women's golfers during a career that included a win at the 2002 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship, and four years on professional tours.
Eleven years after winning the event, she was back at the Women's Public Links, this time as a caddie for one of her Northridge players, Clariss Guce, who shot 6 over par in the 36 holes of stroke play at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.
After her playing career ended, Young coached at Oklahoma State through the 2011 season before heading to California.
“It's been nice to be back and see some old friends. I went by my old house yesterday, which was fun,” she said. “I remembered a few of the holes here, so I hope I helped Clariss a little bit.”
Young will be around for at least one more day. Guce made the cut tied for 41st, and will compete in the first round of match play Wednesday.
LOCAL PLAYERS CONFIDENT ENTERING MATCH PLAY
Oklahoma State's Julie Yang, one of only five players to be even par or better in both rounds of stroke play, is feeling more confident making her way around the course at Jimmie Austin.
Yang shot 70-72 to tie for fourth, though she had only played two rounds at the course prior to the tournament starting Monday.
“The golf course has some holes where you've got to decide whether to lay up or go over the bunker on the tee shots,” she said. “But most of the holes are self-explanatory, depending on the wind.”
Yang was the top qualifier with state ties, but several advanced to the 64-person match play bracket that begins Wednesday.
Oklahoma's Anne-Catherine Tanguay shot a two-round total of 144 to tie for seventh, and knows the match-play competition will change the approach of most golfers.
“They're probably going to change a few of the tee boxes, so we'll probably have a different game plan for the course,” Tanguay said. “And players will definitely be playing more aggressive. That will be good, just for the thrill. I'm looking forward to that.”
Among other match-play qualifiers from the state were OU's NCAA champion Chirapat Jao-Javanil, who tied for 17th at 147 along with OSU's Kelsey Vines.
Former OU and Westmoore High School player Jade Staggs tied for 25th at 148, and OU's Taylor Schmidt tied for 51st at 152.
Lawton native Lucy Nunn, who played at Arkansas, tied for 41st at 150.
One round of single-elimination match play will be held Wednesday, with the rounds of 32 and 16 Thursday. The quarterfinals and finals will be Friday, and the 36-hole championship match is set for Saturday.
MORE THAN ONE PRE-TEEN
Lucy Li gained a lot of attention for being the second-youngest player to ever qualify for the Women's Public Links at 10 years, eight months and 16 days.
But Norman 12-year-old Yujeong Son qualified for the event as well. Son was named the 2012 U.S. Kids National Player of the Year after winning her age division in the organization's world championship last year.
She got off to a rough start Monday with an 81, and missed the cut by eight strokes after shooting 80 Tuesday.
PLAYING BY THE RULES
If you think the officials would take it easy on a 10-year-old, think again.
Li's two-round total of 148 could have been 146, which would have put her in a tie for 14th during stroke play. But she was penalized two strokes for improperly touching the putting green in front of her ball on the 12th hole Monday.
She finished the round with a 77 — but did she learn from the incident?
“Yes,” she said. “I can't do that again.”
USC TEAMMATES TIE FOR TOP SPOT
Annie Park and Doris Chen reminded golf fans why Southern Cal was the 2013 NCAA champion. The Trojan teammates pulled away from the field to tie at 8-under-par for medalist honors in the 36-hole stroke-play event. Each player shot back-to-back 68s Monday and Tuesday.
In addition, USC's Kyung Kim tied for fourth at 2 under par, and Karen Chung, an incoming freshman for the Trojans, finished 2 over par, tied for 14th.
AN ACE FOR FEARS
Lacey Fears' 7-iron made easy work of the par-3 second hole. The Bonaire, Ga., native recorded a hole-in-one on her way to a two-day total of 147, tied for 17th.