I introduce to you Allisen Corpuz-
Erin, Wis. â€“ Not long after signing her scorecard and chatting with a few reporters, Allisen Corpuz walked down the steep slope behind the 18th green and approached her father. Marcos and Allisen then embraced in a long hug, knowing this historic journey had come to a conclusion.
Rounds of 81 and 88 put Corpuz nine strokes off the match-play cut, but in the grand scheme, that did not matter. For the past two days at Erin Hills, the Kapolei, Hawaii, fifth-grader had entered the record books as the youngest qualifier to compete in a USGA championship. Whatever happened afterwards was simply gravy.
At 10 years, 3 months and 9 days, Corpuz shattered the previous mark of fellow Hawaiian Michelle Wie, who achieved the feat eight years ago in this same event, the U.S. Womenâ€™s Amateur Public Links. While Wie, the 2003 WAPL champion and 2004 runner-up, did advance to match play in 2000 â€“ she lost to Cindy Lee in the first round (3 and 2) â€“ Corpuz, who attends the same Punahou School in Honolulu, fell a little short.
Corpuz could be next. A little more than six years ago, Corpuz asked her father for a simple birthday present. She wanted to play golf and join her father and then-6-year-old brother on the links. Since that simple request, Corpuz has risen quite quickly in the junior ranks. Four years ago, she captured the 6-and-under division at the Junior Worlds in San Diego by seven shots. More recently, sheâ€™s won back-to-back U.S. Kids World Cup titles in her age division (2006 and â€™07).
Three weeks ago, the 5-foot, 111-pound Corpuz carded an 80 during her 2008 WAPL qualifier in Kauai. It was good enough to be first alternate behind Cyd Okino, who first qualified for the WAPL at 11. But on June 9, Okino won a U.S. Womenâ€™s Open sectional qualifier in Hawaii, which gave her an exemption into the WAPL, along with the U.S. Girlsâ€™ Junior and U.S. Womenâ€™s Amateur. That opened the door for Corpuz to grab Okinoâ€™s qualifying spot since the USGA automatically holds a few WAPL spots open for those who qualify for the Womenâ€™s Open.
It was a good-news, bad-news situation for Corpuz. The good news is she was making history. The bad news was she had to miss her Junior World qualifier. Fortunately, her father, Marcos, found another qualifier in the Los Angeles area that takes place next Tuesday, giving Corpuz time to fly back to the West Coast and compete.
â€œI think itâ€™s really cool,â€ said Allisen of qualifying for the WAPL at such a young age.
Yes it was pretty cool Allisen. I hope to read more about your golf accomplishments in the years ahead.
Allisen goes to the same school, Punahou, as Michelle Wie did before graduating last year. I think Allisen is modest enought not to be angling for any Nike deals in the near future.
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