PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Casie Cathrea's whirlwind tour in her first appearance in a U.S. Women's Open was one she won't soon forget. Among the highlights of an action-packed week at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y., was playing a practice round with LPGA Tour member and Oklahoma State University alum Caroline Hedwall.
"It was a truly amazing week for me," said Cathrea. "I got to play a practice round with Caroline Hedwall, who went to Oklahoma State, and also Laura Diaz, and that was a real honor."
The 17-year-old, who has committed to play at Oklahoma State in the fall, also learned how to navigate a course that's "as tough a golf course as I have played."
"I learned so much about what I could and couldn't do on a golf course," said Cathrea. "I also realized that I can't fire at every pin."
The California native capped her memorable week off on Sunday evening by finishing as the Low Amateur. Her final-round 70 was her first sub-par round of the week and tied the low round of the day.
The Low Amateur distinction also meant she was able to join U.S. Women's Open Champion Inbee Park on the 18th green for the trophy ceremony.
"It was a real honor to be there with Inbee. She is a great champion," said Cathrea. "The way she was able to keep calm under those conditions was really incredible."
Cathrea will look to continue her strong play while making her fourth appearance in the 38th Junior PGA Championship, July 30 – Aug. 2, at Trump National Golf Club – Washington, D.C., in Potomac Falls, Va.
Her best finish in the Championship was a tie for fifth in 2011. She also helped lead the 2012 U.S. Junior Ryder Cup Team to victory in September at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club, going undefeated in her three matches.
"I am looking forward to closing out my junior golf career at the Junior PGA Championship this summer," said Cathrea.
The 72-hole Championship will feature a 54-hole cut to the low 30 boys and 30 girls, including ties.
Each year the field includes past winners of the Championship, PGA Junior Series event champions, PGA Section event winners, many of Polo Golf and Golfweek's top-ranked players, and selected national junior tournament winners.