Duke Senior Joins Three Alumae at U.S. Open

June 30, 2004

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - One current member of the Duke women's golf team and three Blue Devil alumnae will tee it up at the 2004 U.S. Women's Open Championship beginning on Thursday at the 6,473-yard, Par 71 Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley, Mass.

Rising senior Niloufar Aazam-Zanganeh, 2004 graduate Virada Nirapathpongporn, two-year letterwinner from 1999-2000 Beth Bauer and 1989 graduate Jean Bartholomew will all compete for the national championship.

Bartholomew will get things started first on Thursday at 7:55 a.m., off hole 10, while Bauer (10) will tee off at 8:17 a.m., Nirapathpongporn (1) at 12:59 p.m., and Aazam-Zanganeh at 12:15 p.m. (1). Nirapathpongporn will play the first two rounds along with Annika Sorenstam and Cristie Kerr, who have won 55 career LPGA tournaments between them.

Aazam-Zanganeh, a native of Lausanne, Switzerland, won the sectional qualifying event on June 15 at the Country Club of Spartanburg in Spartanburg, S.C., with a total of 143 to qualify for the U.S. Open. The appearance in the U.S. Open will be the first in her career for Aazam-Zanganeh.

Nirapathpongporn will be making her third straight appearance in the U.S. Open, after carding a 147 at the Knollwood Country Club in West Bloomfield, Mich., on June 14. After missing the cut the last two years, Nirapathpongporn will be playing in the U.S. Open for the first time as a professional. Currently playing on the FUTURES Golf Tour, Nirapathpongporn has played in five events earning $2,552.

Bartholomew qualified for the U.S. Open with a 145 in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., on June 21. It will mark her ninth appearance in the U.S. Open with her best finish in 1996 as she tied for 28th, prior to joining the LPGA Tour.

Bauer, the 2002 LPGA Rolex Rookie of the Year, qualified for the open with a 148 in Rochester, N.Y. on June 22. This will mark her sixth appearance in the U.S. Open with her best open finish coming in 2002 with a four-day total of 289, which was tied for 18th.

The championship is conducted at stroke play over 72 holes with 18 holes each day and a total of 156 players are in the field. After 36 holes, the field will be cut to the lowest 60 scorers and anyone tying for 60th place or within 10 strokes of the leader. The final two rounds will be played on Saturday and Sunday.

ESPN and NBC will televise the event this year. On June 30, ESPN will have a preview show from 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ESPN will also broadcast the first two rounds on July 1-2 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., while NBC will have the final two rounds on July 3 and 4 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

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Rising senior Niloufar Aazam-Zanganeh joins three Duke alum in the U.S. Open field.