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USC’s Song defeats La Quinta’s Johnson 3-and-1 for U.S. Women’s Amateur title

Song joins Southern Californian Sinn-Bonnani as second woman ever with two USGA wins in same year.

BY ELI MILLERPublished: August, 2009

Add Jennifer Song’s name to one of the most elite lists in golf history — those who have won two United States Golf Association events in the same season.

Song, an incoming sophomore at USC, defeated La Quinta’s Jennifer Johnson 3-and-1 Sunday in the final of the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis, Mo.

The 19-year-old Song, who won the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship in June, became only the second woman ever to win two USGA events in the same year — Pearl Sinn-Bonanni, who grew up in Bellflower and spent 15 years on the LPGA Tour, won the same two titles in 1988, a year before Song was even born. Five men have achieved that milestone, including Bobby Jones in 1930 and most recently Ryan Moore (2004) and Colt Knost (2007).

“I can’t put into words how honored I am,” said Song.

Though Johnson grabbed early control of the 36-hole final with a 4-up lead through 10 holes, it didn’t last long. Song birdied the 11th and 12th holes to climb within 2-down, then eventually squared the match when Johnson bogeyed the 14th and 18th holes.

Song took control with birdies on the first two holes of the afternoon round for a 2-up advantage, but even after gaining a 3-up edge on the 27th hole, the match was far from over. Johnson, an incoming freshman at Arizona State University, won three of the next four holes to bring the final back to all square.

However, Song sealed Johnson’s fate on the 33rd, 34th and 35th holes of the match, winning each with par to take the title by a 3-and-1 margin.

The win was a family affair for Song, whose father, Museok, was her caddie all week. Plus, Song’s mother, who was not present when her daughter won the Public Links, was able to see Jennifer win this time around.

“It’s been a while since she’s seen me win and really hold on to the trophy and smile,” said Song. “When I hugged my dad at the end, my tears weren’t out yet, but when I saw mom, you know that feeling when you see your mom. It’s your mom, so you just cry.”

Song, who spent her formative years alternating between residence in South Korea and Ann Arbor, Mich., has established herself as arguably the premier female amateur in the world. In addition to winning the two USGA events, she finished as low amateur at the U.S. Women’s Open in July (tied for 13th). During her debut campaign with the Trojans, she earned first team All-America honors and also was recognized as national freshman of the year, breaking USC’s single-season stroke average record (71.55) and finishing second individually at the NCAA Championship.

Song knocked off some of the country’s best talent to reach the U.S. Women’s Amateur final. In the round of 32, she defeated USC teammate and Azusa resident Lizette Salas 4-and-2, then bested UCLA standout Stephanie Kono 2-and-1 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Song defeated Rowland Heights resident and incoming UCLA student Tiffany Lua 3-and-2 to reach the final against Johnson.

For complete scoring and results, visit the U.S. Women’s Amateur website.