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Chan, Parsons play their way into U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship

Written by Brad Ziemer / British Columbia Golf
(British Columbia Golf)

Kathrine Chan learned Monday that boring is not always bad. A round of 18 straight pars that Chan called “boring” earned the 17-year-old Richmond resident a spot in next month’s U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship in southern California.

Chan’s even-par round of 72 topped the field and earned her one of two spots that were up for grabs at a qualifier at Richmond Country Club. Delta’s Mary Parsons earned the other spot with a one-over 73.

“I think this is a first for me,” Chan said of her long string of pars. “I am pretty surprised with myself. I felt like I was scrambling all day for par. I made a lot of up and downs. It was a boring round, but I am happy with the result. The U.S. Amateur is a tournament I have always wanted to play in.”

Chan is heading into Grade 12 at J.N. Burnett  secondary in Richmond and hopes to play college golf. “I’m just going through that process,” she said. “It’s complicated and tough, but in the end it’s going to work out.” The U.S. Women’s Amateur goes Aug. 7-13 at San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista, Calif.

While Chan was churning out pars, Parsons birdied her final two holes to grab the second spot. “I knew even-par would be good,” Parsons said. “I was just trying to get as close to that as I could. I bore down the last four holes. I three-putted on 14, drained a really long putt on 15 and sunk a long putt from off the green on 17.”

The 17-year-old Parsons is a member of Golf Canada’s national development team. She got her season off to a good start with a win at the Future Links Pacific Championship at Chilliwack Golf Club in May, but her game hasn’t felt quite right of late.

“I played pretty well today,” she said. “I felt like I was back in my zone, something that I have been missing for a while. I had been kind of struggling on the course and mentally wasn’t in it. Today it felt like I was back to myself on the golf course.”

Her round on Monday created a dilemma of sorts for Parsons. She had been awarded a spot on British Columbia’s team to the Canada Summer Games next month in Winnipeg. That event conflicts with the U.S. Women’s Amateur, so Parsons had to forfeit her spot on the Summer Games team. It wasn’t an easy decision.

“I have mixed feelings,” She said. “I’m disappointed to be missing out on the Canada Summer Games, but I know going forward U.S. Am is a whole other thing to be excited about. They are different, one is a team event and one is individual. But they are both prestigious events.”

Parsons was happy to learn that her Canada Games team spot will be going to her good friend, Tiffany Kong of Vancouver. Parsons, who is off to begin her freshman year at the University of Indiana, now has a busy end to her summer.

She has the Canadian Women’s Amateur, the Canadian Junior Girls and the U.S. Women’s Amateur in succession. “Three big events and then I head to school right after,” Parsons said.

Seventeen players competed in Monday’s qualifier. Surrey’s Michelle Kim (74) and Phoebe Yue of West Vancouver (75) were awarded first and second alternate positions.

Debbie Pyne, managing director player, development for British Columbia Golf said Hannah Lee of Surrey and Alisha Lau of Richmond will join Kong on B.C’s Canada Summer Games team. The boys’ team, announced earlier this month, includes Nolan Thoroughgood and Keaton Gudz, both of Victoria, and Tristan Mandur of Mill Bay.

For the full Richmond Qualifier leaderboard click here.

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