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Amateur golf: The rust is officially gone

Hart senior-to-be Dusenberry qualifies for 2011 U.S. Amateur after missing last season

Posted: June 3, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 3, 2011 1:55 a.m.
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After a trying junior season in high school spent mostly recovering from wrist surgery, Hart High senior-to-be Kendall Dusenberry made a loud declaration on Tuesday.

She's back.

Dusenberry qualified for the 2011 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship by shooting a 2-over 74 at The Reserve at Spanos Park Golf Club in Stockton.

The championship event will be June 27 to July 2 at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore.

"Yes, I am back, and I'm excited," Dusenberry said.

Dusenberry, who damaged ligaments and cartilage in her right wrist slipping in a beach chair last August, missed the entire 2010 prep golf season and didn't golf in any tournament for seven months.

She made her return last month at a U.S. Women's Open qualifier, but said she played poorly.

She then improved on May 21-22 at a Toyota Tour Cup junior golf event in Warner Springs where she finished 25th overall.

On Tuesday, she sent a message on her first hole, outdistancing her competitors by about 50 yards on her first drive.

"I could see the rules official who said, ‘Whenever you're comfortable (take a shot)," Dusenberry said. "I knew I could hit the people in the fairway (in the group ahead). (The girl I was playing with was probably) thinking, ‘There's no way this chick can hit these people.'"

But a healthy Dusenberry blasted the ball off the tee and early on showed how serious she was about advancing.

Dusenberry ended up in a playoff for the last two advancing spots from the qualifier and the two alternate spots.

She sank a par on the first playoff hole, which punched her ticket to the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.

"You can't go into something thinking you don't have a shot," said Dusenberry, who has a verbal commitment to San Diego State of the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship. "No one's expecting me to play amazing. I'm going to go in there and do the best I can do, and I know the best I can do is to go in there and win."

 

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