June 17, 2013
Cullowhee, N.C. - Taylor Allison, a rising sophomore on the Western Carolina women's golf team, opens play in the 37th Annual U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links (WAPL) Championship on Monday at the par-72, 6,351-yard Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, Okla.
Allison is slated to tee off on the back nine at 1:30 pm local time / 2:30 pm ET. She is paired with Selu Fotu, a native of Highland, Utah, and a rising senior at BYU, and Chelsey Couch, a native of Ware Shoals, S.C., who is also a rising sophomore at the University of South Carolina.
Practice rounds were held over the weekend ahead of a tournament banquet at the Sam Noble Musuem of National History on the OU Campus, and featured keynote speaker, Sherri Coale, the head women's basketball coach at Oklahoma.
Allison qualified for the WAPL Championship back on June 3, firing an even-par 72 to finish third in a qualifying event held at the Ironwood Golf & Country Club in Greenville, N.C. - one of 33 qualifying tournaments held nationwide. Allison, who led WCU in scoring average last season at 77.84, finished just behind East Carolina's Katie Kirk, a rising junior, and Kayla Sciupider, a Hendersonville, N.C., native and a rising junior at Rollins College.
This week's event is the second Allison has qualified for this summer. The Elizabeth City, N.C., native qualified for the inaugural Friends of Mission Charity Classic held at the Country Club of Asheville back on May 17-19. Allison posted rounds of 76 and even-par, 72, to finish with a two-round score of 148, just missing the final round cut by two strokes.
The U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links (WAPL) 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.
All told, a field of 156 golfers will compete in two rounds of stroke-play qualifying Monday and Tuesday. The field will then be cut to the low 64 scorers for match play. A total of six match-play rounds will be conducted over the next four days to determine the champion. The final match will be contested over 36 holes.
Named for Jimmie Austin, an oil and gas drilling contractor and independent producer from Seminole, Okla., that gave a lead gift for the 1996 renovation of the OU golf course, the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club was originally designed by Perry Maxwell and constructed in 1949 on the site of a World War II Naval Air Station and opened in January of 1951. Noted golf architect Bob Cupp led the renovations in '96.
In addition to the 2013 WAPL Championship, the course has played host to the 1997 Oklahoma State Amateur and NCAA Regional, the Big 12 Women's Championship in 1998 and 2010 and most notably the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship in 2009.