the 2013 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship at Syc" />
Then, Abe Reach U.S. Girls’ Junior Final

Lakareber Abe, of Angleton, Texas, defeated Bethany Wu, 1 up, in their semifinal match Friday afternoon. (USGA/Fred Vuich)
By Christina Lance, USGA
July 26, 2013

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Gabriella Then and Lakareber Abe each won two matches on Friday and will meet in Saturday’s 36-hole final of the 2013 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship at Sycamore Hills Golf Club.

Then took a 1-up victory over Yueer Feng in Friday’s quarterfinal round, and reached the final with a 2-and-1 win over Megan Khang. Abe eliminated Kathleen Scavo, 4 and 3, in the quarterfinals, and advanced to the final with a 1-up victory over Bethany Wu.

The 2013 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship is open to female amateur golfers under the age of 18. It is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

Then never trailed in her semifinal win over Khang, but her road to victory was not easy. The 17-year-old from Upland, Calif., built a 3-up lead through five holes. But she stumbled with two bogeys and a double bogey over the next four holes, allowing Khang to square the match at the turn.

“I was just thinking on the new nine to get back in there and play aggressively,” said Then, who last month competed in her third U.S. Women’s Open. “I wouldn't let her win another hole.”

That plan worked. Then regained the lead when Khang bogeyed the par-4 10th and stretched it to 2 up when Khang bogeyed the par-3 11th. Then and Khang halved the remaining six holes, giving Then the win on the 17th green.

Then is competing in her final Girls’ Junior before joining the University of Southern California women’s golf team in the fall. To win in her final junior event would be a dream come true.

“It would put a cherry on top of my junior career,” said Then with a smile.

Abe and Wu battled in a true back-and-forth match, not halving a single hole between No. 2 and No. 13. Wu carried the initial advantage, winning the par-5 second with a birdie, and while Abe was able to square the match, she couldn’t take the lead. Abe termed that stretch as “tough.”

“I just told myself to stay in it, stay positive,” said Abe, who will attend the University of Alabama in the fall of 2014. “If I got an opportunity, (I would) jump on it as much as I could.”

Abe took her first lead with a birdie at the par-5 12th, but bogeyed the subsequent par-3 13th to square the match. Another birdie, this time at the par-4 16th, gave Abe the lead for good.

“I've been practicing really hard,” said Abe, whose previous best Girls’ Junior result was a first-round loss to Casie Cathrea in 2011 at Olympia Fields Country Club. “To play well, it means a lot.”

Abe and Then are good friends from their years of playing together on the American Junior Golf Association circuit. In fact, the teens roomed together at their last two events, the Scott Robertson Memorial (which Then won) and the AJGA’s Rolex Girls Junior Championship. But friendship will have to take a break for the competition at hand.

“At the end of the day, we're both out there for the same thing,” said Abe, shrugging her shoulders.

By reaching the final, Abe and Then earned exemptions into the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, which will be conducted Aug. 5-11 at the Country Club of Charleston in South Carolina. The winner will also receive an exemption into the 2014 Women’s Amateur. Both players will also be exempt into the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, if otherwise eligible.

Should she win, Abe would become the fourth African-American player and first female to win an individual USGA championship. She would join Bill Wright (1959 U.S. Amateur Public Links), Alton Duhon (1982 USGA Senior Amateur) and Tiger Woods (1991-93 U.S. Junior Amateur; 1994-96 U.S. Amateur; 2000, 2002, 2008 U.S. Open). Mariah Stackhouse (2009) and Amira Alexander (2011) have played on victorious Georgia teams at the USGA Women’s State Team Championship.

Christina Lance is the assistant manager of communications for the USGA. Email her at


FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Results from Friday morning’s quarterfinal round of match play at the 2013 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, conducted at the 6,312-yard, par-72 Sycamore Hills Golf Club:

Upper Bracket

Megan Khang, Rockland, Mass. (151) def. Sabrina Bonanno, Norridge, Ill. (149), 1 up

Gabriella Then, Upland, Calif. (152) def. Yueer Feng, Orlando, Fla. (141), 1 up

Lower Bracket

Lakareber Abe, Angleton, Texas (146) def. Kathleen Scavo, Benicia, Calif. (142), 4 and 3

Bethany Wu, Diamond Bar, Calif. (148) def. Casie Cathrea, Livermore, Calif. (153), 4 and 3

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Results from Friday afternoon’s semifinal round of match play at the 2013 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, conducted at the 6,312-yard, par-72 Sycamore Hills Golf Club:

Upper Bracket

Gabriella Then, Upland, Calif. (152) def. Megan Khang, Rockland, Mass. (151), 2 and 1

Lower Bracket

Lakareber Abe, Angleton, Texas (146) def. Bethany Wu, Diamond Bar, Calif. (148), 1 up


FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Pairing and starting time for Saturday morning’s first 18 holes of the championship final of match play at the 2013 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, conducted at the 6,312-yard, par-72 Sycamore Hills Golf Club (Time EDT):

8 a.m. – Gabriella Then, Upland, Calif. (152) vs. Lakareber Abe, Angleton, Texas (146) 

Follow the USGA
Become a Facebook Fan of the USGAFollow us on Twitter @USGA
Get The Rules of Golf App For Your iPhone Or Android Today
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

Rolex image

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website,, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit

AmEx image

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit

AmEx image
American Express

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit

AmEx image