Casie Cathrea, 18, of Livermore, started off her final summer as an amateur golfer with a bang, defending the San Francisco City Championship title she earned in 2013 with a 10 & 9 drubbing of #3 seed Anna Zhou at San Francisco’s Presidio Golf Course today.
The 2013 champion defeated the #32, #16, #9 and #5 seeds in earlier rounds of the match play portion of the tournament over the last three weeks, before squaring off against Zhou, a junior at Gunn High School in Palo Alto, for the title. Cathrea was 3-up over Zhou after the first eighteen holes of the 36-hole championship match, but stayed on the attack in the afternoon round, putting the match away with a birdie on the par-5 ninth. Cathrea, a long hitter, played the hole with driver, another driver off the deck, and two putts.
Over the coming months, Cathrea hopes to reprise the success she had in the summer of 2013. Before she headed to Oklahoma State University last fall to take up a scholarship position in their women’s golf program, she played on the winning U.S. Junior Solheim Cup team, won the inaugural women’s competition in the Porter Cup, a long-established amateur competition at Niagara Falls Country Club in upstate New York, and took Low Amateur honors at the U.S. Women’s Open at Sebonack Golf Club on Long Island.
Philosophical differences between Cathrea and new OSU women’s golf head coach Courtney Jones, who took over the program from former head coach Alan Bratton, led to the Livermore teen giving up her scholarship in January to return home to California and prepare for a professional golf career.
A driven competitor, Cathrea has big plans for the next few months. Defending her San Francisco City Championship title was her first goal; she is also shooting for a spot on the United States team for the 2014 Curtis Cup, an amateur women’s match play event between the United States and Great Britain and Ireland in June, and she plans to defend her Porter Cup and U.S. Women’s Open Amateur Champion titles before turning pro in October.
In addition to the amateur events on her schedule Cathrea hopes to play, as an amateur, in the Swinging Skirts Classic, a new LPGA event which will be held at Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City, April 24 to 27. Her win in the SF City Championship earned her a spot in the Monday qualifying tournament for the event, but Cathrea, who holds the course record at Lake Merced with an 11-under 61 that she shot in medal play for the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior, has also applied for a sponsor’s exemption into the tournament.