Chen concludes Amateur career; in position to win first Professional Event
Fresh off an appearance at the inaugural Women’s National Amateur Championship last weekend, Alice Chen made her professional debut this past Saturday, April 13 – and heading into Monday’s final round, she finds herself in a most familiar position – at the top of the leaderboard.
A Princeton resident and winner of six NJSGA championships - including two Women’s Amateur titles - the 23-year-old Chen stands tied for first place at 5-under par (139) after two rounds in the National Women’s Golf Association’s Lake Blackshear Resort Classic in Cordele, Georgia. She begins her final round Monday at 9:17 a.m.
Chen’s backed-up her seven birdie effort in round one with an additional five in round 2. She is tied with Katy Harris of Georgia, three strokes better than Gabrielle Shipley of Michigan at the par 72, 6365 yard Blackshear Resort.
The NWGA Tour is a developmental golf tour for aspiring women professionals and amateurs who want to compete at golf’s highest levels.
“I’m taking a lot of positives from my golf game and I’m excited for my professional career to begin as I also stay true to myself: pursuing excellence, loving people, praising Jesus and giving God all the glory," Chen stated.
Chen concluded her amateur career in fine style. While she failed to make the cut in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, she birdied her final hole of the second round of the event, her last hole as an amateur. All participants were invited to play an exhibition round at Augusta National on Friday, April 5, when Chen carded five birdies and shot a 3-under-par 69.
Once the round was complete, she was introduced to former Secretary of State and Augusta National member Condoleezza Rice, USGA president Diana Murphy, and World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam.
"I praise God for this opportunity because I could not have scripted a better swan song to my amateur career,” Chen said.
Last October, she competed in the LPGA Tour Qualifying School and reached Stage 2 at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Fla., where she earned partial status on the Symetra Tour – where she plans to participate in selected events this year.
Besides two winning two NJSGA Women’s Amateur Championships (2016, ’13), she has also garnered two NJSGA Public Links titles (2015, ‘14) and two NJSGA Junior crowns (2013, ’12). She also won the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship with Taylor Totland of Tinton Falls in 2017 and was part of New Jersey’s victorious USGA Women’s State Team Championship with Cindy Ha and Tara Fleming in 2013.
Chen graduated from Furman University in 2018 following a stellar career. She was a recipient of the prestigious LPGA Dinah Shore Trophy, which honors female collegiate golfers who excel in academics and athletics, while demonstrating outstanding leadership skills and community service. Chen is active with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.