June 21, 2013
NORMAN, Okla. -- The first time OU golfer Anne-Catherine Tanguay found herself down in any of her four matches at this week's U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship was also her last time.
Tanguay, who never trailed in her first three matches Wednesday and Thursday, nor was behind at any point of Friday's first 18 holes of quarterfinals play, lost to Doris Chen on the first playoff hole at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.
A senior-to-be for the Sooners, Tanguay birdied the par-3 second hole to go 1 up and extended her advantage to 2 up after six holes. Chen, who will be a junior at USC next year, won holes 8 and 9 to make the match all square before Tanguay birdied the par-4 11th to go 1 up.
The 2013 third-team All-Americans matched each other shot for shot over the next six holes. Protecting a one-hole lead on the par-5 18th, Tanguay watched Chen stick her approach shot about eight feet from the hole and make her birdie putt to force a playoff.
Both golfers then hit errant tee shots on the par-4 first hole, but Chen rebounded to make par while Tanguay's par putt lipped out.
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"Sometimes you're lucky and sometimes you're a little unlucky on who you get to play," said Tanguay of Chen, who is a two-time All-American. "It was a great match. We both did some really good things. I'm happy with it. She did good, so she deserved it."
Tanguay admitted that the most difficult aspect of losing is that she nearly had the match won.
"I think that's why I got emotional (after the match)," she said. "Because I was just this close. She made some really difficult putts; 7-footers, 10-footers for par, which you don't make every time. But she did. I'm OK with it.
"I'm really happy. I don't really have anything to be mad about. Hopefully I'll be playing in the U.S. Am and that can be my redemption."
Tanguay said she will participate in a U.S. Women's Amateur Championship qualifier in Maine in July. The actual event will take place Aug. 6-11 in Charleston, S.C.
OU head coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell, who like Tanguay is from Quebec, Canada, said Friday's match was incredibly entertaining.
"It was awesome, a great match. Probably one of the best matches I've ever seen," said Drouin-Luttrell. "They just kept going back and forth. AC played really well all the way to the end. And Doris -- kudos to her for making that clutch putt on 18 to extend the match. And she had a great save on 1. But again, AC played great and it's exciting that she'll be back for her senior year."
In addition to Tanguay, OU, which has finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships each of the last two years, returns most of its roster next season, including two-time first-team All-American Chirapat Jao Javanil and 2013 All-Big 12 selection Emily Collins.
The U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links (WAPL), which this year featured 156 competitors, began in 1977 as a national championship for women who play the nation's public courses. The WAPL is open to female amateur golfers who, since Jan. 1, 2013, have been bona fide public course players and have not held privileges of any course that does not extend playing privileges to the general public.
Chen will meet Lauren Diaz-Yi in Saturday's 36-hole final. Chen defeated Oklahoma State's Julie Yang in semifinals action Friday afternoon.