Allisen Corpuz qualified for her first USGA event, the 2008 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, when she was 10. A mind-blowing 16 more have followed.
Among all those championships, 14 have ended with a match-play bracket. That’s the USGA’s schtick for amateur events. (Corpuz has also played two U.S. Women’s Opens and a USGA State Team Championship for her native Hawaii.)
The tournaments blend together, but Corpuz guesses she made match play in about nine of them. That’s a lot of head-to-head experience, and as a result, there aren’t two many female collegians you could find who are more versed in this format than the 22-year-old Corpuz.
Scores: North & South Women’s Amateur
Asked for her best piece of advice when it comes to advancing through a bracket, Corpuz kept it simple.
“I think most of the time it’s really just trying to keep it as close to stroke play as possible,” she said. “Just trying to play my game. If they make a mistake, try to capitalize on that.”
Corpuz added two big victories to her win column on Friday at Pinehurst No. 2. Now she’ll appear in the semifinals on Saturday morning. Two more victories earn her the iconic Putter Boy trophy. Last year, she made it as far as the quarterfinals at this event.
In her morning match against Kentucky sophomore Marissa Wenzler, Corpuz got up early by winning the first hole. She got it up-and-down for a par on No. 4 to go 2 up and had closed out Wenzler by the 14th hole.
“I actually wasn’t hitting the ball too great the past two days,” she said. “I figured out something on the range yesterday. I felt like I was hitting the ball well on that first match.”
In the afternoon, Corpuz lost the first three holes to Notre Dame’s Lauren Beaudreau. She was only 1 down by the turn and won on the 18th green.
“I think definitely for that match, it was about staying patient,” Corpuz said. “I also made a few mistakes early on that got me that far down.”
Corpuz knows matches can turn quickly, especially at Pinehurst No. 2. This is her third time playing the North & South Women’s Amateur on this venue. You can’t go wrong playing for par on these tricky green complexes.
“You’ll get a few birdie looks, just try to make those when you get them,” she said. “If you’re aggressive you can definitely walk off with bogey or worse.”
No. 1 seed Ivy Shepherd awaits on Saturday morning. Shepherd, who knocked off Gina Kim and Megan Schofill to get the semifinals, plays college golf for Clemson. Corpuz is stationed all the way across the country at USC. Corpuz can’t recall the two meeting, but her dad and caddie Marcos will often strike up conversations with other families at these events. He has befriended the Shepherds throughout the week.
Corpuz was going to finish her Masters degree in global supply chain management this coming year regardless of the pandemic. When the NCAA offered an extra year to make up for COVID cancellations, Corpuz jumped.
USC last won a national title in 2013. That’s something Corpuz never got to be a part of.
“I might as well stay the full year,” she said, “and try to get a national title. It’s a good way to play some good golf and keep getting into tournaments.”
The winner of the match between Corpuz and Shepherd will draw the winner of the other semifinal match between Wake Forest’s Rachel Kuehn and Michigan State’s Haylin Harris.