Katie Lu Victorious in 97th New Jersey Women’s Amateur Championship
GLEN RIDGE, N.J. – Katie Lu of Plainsboro captured the 97th New Jersey Women’s Amateur Championship on Thursday, August 4 at Glen Ridge Country Club. Lu, also medalist in the stroke play portion of the championship rode a tidal wave of momentum entering the 18-hole finale, and defeated Sydney Kuo, 2-up.
“It feels great,” expressed Lu. “Seeing all my hard work pay off on the course today and these past few days and just having my name on this trophy with so many other great female golfers means a lot.”
The win also marked her second NJSGA victory. In 2020 she won the Junior Girls’ Championship at Morris County Golf Club.
In her morning semifinal match, Lu made quick work of her opponent, Angela Lee, closing out the match on No. 13. After falling behind early by losing the first hole, Lu proceeded to win 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 to lead 4-up heading into the back nine. She also won No. 10 and 11 to lock up her victory over Lee and move to the final.
In the finale, Lu took on Kuo, of Edison and it was an intense battle between two friends that extended 18 holes. Although Kuo took an early lead, carding a par on No. 3 while Lu tallied a bogey, Lu held a lead over Kuo for a majority of the match.
“It's a really fun dynamic,” Lu said of her friendship with Kuo. “We cracked a lot of jokes out there, a lot of laughing. We're great friends off the course on the course, obviously friends too, but we're great competitors. She's very competitive. We have of a different game style, but both fierce in our own ways.”
After Lu won holes No. 4 and 7 to go 1-up, Kuo drained a 20-foot putt on No. 9 to even up the match. However, Lu persisted and turned the tables very quickly, stuffing her tee shot on the 164-yard par 3 to a foot and a half, winning that hole. She went on to win No. 12 with an impressive chip-in as well as No. 14 to own a 3-up lead.
Kuo didn’t give up. She won No. 15 and 17 to extend the match. On No. 18, the pair both landed in the fairway off the tee. Kuo, first to hit, placed her approach shot 15 feet past the hole with a chance at birdie. Lu once again came in clutch, tucking her shot within just a few feet of the hole. Despite making a valiant effort for birdie, Kuo missed her attempt and conceded the hole, ending the match.
“When I walked on the green, it was definitely a relief,” reflected Lu. “In the fairway, I was nervous, taking deep breaths and I knew that I had to get it close because I heard clapping for Sydney’s shot. Walking up to the green, I knew that I had a great chance to birdie and that she needed a sink in that putt to extend the match."
Lu, 20, will soon return to Michigan State University as a sophomore on the women’s golf team. Over the last few days, she’s received an outpouring of support from her fellow Spartans.
“I've been getting a lot of texts this week and that's kept me motivated,” said Lu. “It just shows how many great friends I have all around me and all the support. Especially Michigan State women's golf, my teammates, my coaches, they're the most supportive people ever. We all push each other to become better players and we're all there to encourage each other. Even though we might not be in the same place, we're kind of all over the world right now. It’s been great.”
The winner of the Women’s Amateur also earned an exemption in the 2023 New Jersey Open Championship, which will take place at Hackensack Golf Club.
Final Match Result
Katie Lu, Forsgate Country Club d. Sydney Kuo, NJSGA E-Club, 2-up
Katie Lu, Forsgate Country Club d. Angela Lee, NJSGA E-Club, 6&5
Sydney Kuo, NJSGA E-Club d. Jenelle Valera, Royce Brook Golf Club, 5&4
NJSGA Social Media
For the latest updates and news, visit njgsa.org or follow New Jersey State Golf Association on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @NJSGA1900.