July 30, 2005
ROSWELL, Ga. - Santa Clara University junior golfer Candice Palmer arrived at the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship on Friday and played two practice rounds in preparation for the U.S. Golf Association event. The main event begins Monday at Ansley Golf Club's Settindown Creek Course in Roswell, Ga.
"So far everything has been unbelievable," Palmer said after Saturday's practice rounds. "I am so happy to be able to play in this championship. Everyone has been welcoming and everything is well done; it has been an amazing experience thus far.
"I met a college player who just graduated from Washington State, Kim Welch, who has won 11 collegiate events; as well as Carol Semple Thompson, whom I played a practice round with today, and this is her 10th USGA Championship in which she has competed, which is an unbelievably accomplishment. Both these individuals are amazing to talk to and I am so glad I have met them."
Palmer will meet her caddie on Sunday and complete a final practice round in the afternoon. She will tee off at 7:52 a.m. on Monday and 12:47 p.m. on Tuesday. The top 64 after those two rounds will advance to match play on Wednesday.
"I am starting to feel pretty comfortable with the course, as I grew up playing one with similar fairways, roughs and greens, so I am comfortable with hitting my shots," she added. "It is awesome to be here and I will make SCU proud of my performance."
Palmer became the first Bronco to qualify for the Women's Amateur, when she carded a 75 in a June 30 qualifying round at Pasatiempo Golf Course in Santa Cruz, posting the third lowest score of the day. There were 57 competitors, and the top eight from that site advanced to the national event.
Palmer, a native of nearby Pleasanton and a former standout at Amador Valley High School, was participating in her first tournament of the summer season, as she had arthroscopic surgery on both knees after the spring season ended in late April.
The U.S. Women's Amateur, the third oldest of the USGA championships, was first played in 1895 at Meadowbrook Club in Hempstead, N.Y. The event is open to any female amateur who has a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 5.4. The Women's Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
For more information on this event, please visit its official site at www.uswamateur.org.