Three members of Tulane's NCAA Championship participant squad will compete in major tournaments this summer.
June 1, 2014
New Orleans - A little over one week after leading Tulane to a 15th place finish at the NCAA Women's Golf Championships, the sophomore duo of Emily Penttila and Madison Opfer continue to have the hot hand and will represent Tulane at two of the most prestigious women's golfing events this summer.
Penttila qualified for the 2014 U.S. Women's Open Championship on Friday and Opfer punched her ticket for the 2014 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links (WAPL) Championship following a qualifying round on Saturday.
Penttila will play U.S. Women's Open Championship, June 19-22, at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club's Course No. 2. The Women's Open will follow the U.S. Open at Pinehurst, the first time in history that both championships will be conducted on the same course in back-to-back weeks.
Opfer will be one of 156 golfers competing at the WAPL Championship, July 14-19, at the Home Course in Dupont, Wash. Following two rounds of stroke-play qualifying, the field will be cut to 64 golfers with the lowest scores for match play. There will be six match-play rounds with the final match being contested over 36 holes.
"I am so proud of Emily and the hard work she has put in all year," Tulane head coach Lorne Don said. She deserves the opportunity to tee it up against the best players in the world at the U.S. Open. Pinehurst No. 2 is a course steeped in tradition and I am excited for Emily to have the chance to test her game under those conditions during an event that represents the pinnacle of women's golf."
"Madison has now played five straight rounds of par or better dating back to the third round of the NCAA Championships and obviously has really hit her stride. Last year, she made it to match play at the Public Links and is looking forward to getting back to that event to see if she can make a run," Don said.
Penttila, who hails from Helsinki, Finland, added her name to the 2014 U.S. Women's Open Championship at a sectional qualifier conducted at Quail Valley Golf Club in Vero Beach, Fla. She carded at 3-under (71-70) 141 and qualified for the Women's Open on her first attempt. The 2014 Conference USA and Louisiana Player of the Year recorded a bogey-free 68 with four birdies during her final round.
"I was able to stay patient and play steady all day during the final round and was able to put two good rounds together," Penttila said. "I would like to play professional golf after college so I am really looking forward to competing among the best players in the world. I think this is an awesome opportunity to see the level of play. I am looking forward to the week and I hope to be able to learn a lot from the other players."
A 2014 All C-USA second team performer and native of Plant City, Fla., Opfer shot an even-par 72 to qualify for the WAPL at The Links at Madison Green in West Palm Beach, Fla. She almost gave Tulane two players in this year's Women's U.S. Open with rounds of 70 and 72 in her first rounds, respectively, but lost in a playoff between five players.
"It was great to qualify for this year's event because this is the last year they are hosting the Publinks," Opfer said. "This is my fourth time to qualify for this event and my expectations are high because I have been able to make the cut a couple of times before but this year I want to make it even further and hopefully to the end of the tournament."
Penttila and Opfer join teammate, junior Gemma Dryburgh, in major tournament play this summer. Dryburgh was one of eight players selected to the 2014 Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) Curtis Cup Team. The event will take place June 6-8 at the St. Louis Country Club in St. Louis, Mo. The group will look to defend their title against the United States in the 38th Curtis Cup Match.
"We are developing a program at Tulane of players that want to compete at the next level. With Gemma playing in the Curtis Cup, Emily in the U.S. Open and Madison in the U.S. Public Links, we are establishing a standard of excellence for our current and future players. They continue to see what is possible when they believe in themselves and that is exciting looking ahead to next year. We wish them all the best of luck in each of their tournaments," Don said.