RYE, N.Y. — Jensen Castle is the queen of United States amateur golf.
The Kentucky women’s golfer defeated Arizona’s Yu-Chiang (Vivian) Hou 2 and 1 on Sunday to win the 2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur. Castle came out victorious in the 36-hole championship match to capture the national title for amateurs and join an elite list of some of the game’s greatest players to hoist the Robert Cox Trophy.
With a 10-foot birdie putt on the 35th hole of the day, Castle became the first player in school history to win the U.S. Women’s Amateur. She is the first No. 63 seed to win the event and the third No. 63 seed in United States Golf Association history to win a title since seeding began in the 1980s, according to the USGA.
“Still hasn’t registered,” Castle said. “It feels like just another tournament, but then I step back and I’m like, this is a USGA event with so much history, and I just can’t imagine.”
Castle joins the likes of golf legends Julie Inkster (1980-82), Grace Park (1998), Morgan Pressel (2005), Danielle Kang (2010-11) and Kristen Gillman (2014, 2018) to win the event. She is the top finisher in a field that included a record 1,560 entries when qualifying began two months ago.
The junior-to-be at Kentucky navigated this week through a field of 156 players and captured one of the final two spots from stroke play in a 12-for-2 playoff to make match play and then defeated some of the nation’s best amateur golfers.