One of our Pro Tour Golf College students Tatiana Wijaya has successfully qualified to play in the USGA Womens Amateur Championship for the second year in a row.
For the recently turned 17 year old from Perth Western Australia its a mighty achievement as there were a record 1,170 entries for the event this year being played at The Country Club of Charleston, in South Carolina.
And if you think that's a lot, there were over 7,000 entries for the men's championship which is being played this year at The Country Club in Brookline Massachusetts.
Both the above championships have been going since 1895 when there were 32 entries for the men's and 13 for the women's. How things have changed since those early years. Both are now truly international events as there are competitors from all parts of the globe.
It's only been over the last 15 years that the internationals have been able to claim victory on a regular basis. In the women's championship players from South Korea have claimed the title on numerous occasions and last years winner was Lydia Ko from New Zealand, the youngest winner (15 years old) in the history of the championship.
In 1995 Pro Tour Golf College co-director Lawrie Montague had one of his golfers Ann Marie-Knight contest the final of the US Amateur, and unfortunately lost 5 and 4 to the winner Kelli Kuehne.
In the men's Championship the Americans are hard to beat on home soil. But over the last ten years five internationals have managed to put their name on the trophy.
1. Nick Flannagan (Australia)
2. Edoardo Molinari (Italy)
3. Danny Lee (New Zealand)
4. Ritchie Ramsay (Scotland)
5. Beoung-Hun An (South Korea)
These fine golfers have led the way for the international entrants and have gone on to play successfully on professional golf tours around the world.
The most famous winners who arguably are also the best players to ever play the game are Bobby Jones (5 titles), Jack Nicklaus (2 titles) and Tiger Woods (3 titles) who won three times in a row in the mid 1990's.
In both championships all players play 36 holes of stroke-play and the top 64 players will then play match play to determine the champion.
It's a grueling week of golf, and it will test not just the golf games, but also the physical and mental state of the players - especially those who have to play 36 holes in the final.
On numerous occasions more holes were required to determine the winner and Jeff Quinney in 2000 needed 39 holes to beat James Driscoll.
Both these players are currently regulars on the PGA Tour.
Like all USGA events the courses are set up with a high degree of difficulty and tests every area of the competitors game.
With thick rough to catch the offline tee shot and hard fast greens to test the scrambling skills of the competitors and most of all where a par is very precious.
Tatiana, now that she has qualified for the Women's Championship, the work she has been doing all year at Pro Tour Golf College will hold her in good stead. Precise short irons and approach wedges, and lots of work on improving her scrambling skills will come in handy.
That's not going to be enough though, as getting to the tournament with enough time to do her course charting will be critical. She will first walk the course and thoroughly chart each hole and green.
Only then will she play two full practice rounds and together with Lawrie and I using Goggle Earth will set up a game plan for her to confidently use, to give her the best opportunity to do well.
Exciting times for the young lady, and with her team around her it will give her a shot at putting her name on the only USGA trophy donated by a foreigner Robert Cox who was a member of the British Parliament in 1896.
We wish Tatiana all the very best, and good golfing at the 2013 US Women's Amateur Championship.
David Milne and Lawrie Montague - Pro Tour Golf College
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