Corpuz follows in Wie’s cleatmarks
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ERIN, Wis. » Not bad for someone going into fifth grade.
Ten-year-old Allisen Corpuz of Kapolei shot a 15-over-par 88 in the second round of the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship yesterday.
Her two-day total of 169 was nine strokes over the 160 cut for the 64 golfers advancing to match play, but it was sensational for a girl who stands 5-feet tall and weighs in at 111 pounds.
"It was nice," the shy, soft-spoken golfer with the long ponytail said of her debut in national championship golf.
In the first round Monday at the par-73 Erin Hills Golf Course, she became the youngest player to compete in a U.S. Golf Association championship at the age of 10 years, 3 months. She swiped the honor from another golfing phenom from Hawaii, Michelle Wie, who in 2000 was 10 years, 9 months when she played in the same tournament.
Allisen's college-age playing partners for two days also failed to make the cut. Molly Schemm of the University of Wisconsin-Madison had a 166 total and Mallory Fraiche of the University of Arkansas 167.
Katie Kempter of Albuquerque, N.M., and Lizette Salas of Azusa, Calif., tied for the low score after two days at 2-under 144.
Stephanie Kono led a group of five Hawaii players who made the cut and advanced to first-round match play today. Three from the islands in addition to Allisen did not advance.
Allisen hit mostly straight 200-yard tee shots and consistently long 3-woods to give herself a chance but struggled with her short game. Despite a slew of missed putts and bogeys, however, she never lost her composure.
Asked who taught her to stay calm, she quietly replied, "My dad."
Marcos Corpuz followed his daughter both days even though he admitted for him "it's nerve-racking."
Corpuz let Allisen begin playing when she was 4 because his daughter kept begging him.
"She was always saying she wanted to play with me and her brother (George). I finally let her," Corpuz said.
In six brief years Allisen has become the latest in a series of talented female prodigies to wow the golf world. Many of the young stars made their first big splash in the Public Links.
Wie won the tournament in 2003 at age 13 and a year later 15-year-old Yani Tseng of Taiwan beat Wie for the title. Earlier this month, Yani, now 19, became the youngest golfer to win the LPGA Championship. And Mina Harigage of Monterey, Calif., was only 17 when she won the Public Links last year.
Harigage had hoped to become the first golfer since Pearl Sinn in 1988-89 to win back-to-back titles. But she shot an 81 yesterday to finish at 161, one stroke too many to qualify for match play.
"I'm disappointed," Harigage said. "I just didn't putt well."
It was the first time a defending champion failed to advance to match play the following year.
Catherine Allen of Bellingham, Wash., was the oldest player in a field of 156 competitors whose age averaged 19.38 years. But at age 48, she loved the chance to compete against the youngsters, even golfers not yet in their teens.
"I was a middle school teacher so it's like having my kids back. I love kids. They are so good and I am having so much fun," said Allen, who had rounds of 81 to miss a spot in match play.