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Doris Chen qualifies for US Women's Open

IMG Academy alum, Doris Chen, qualified for the US Women's Open at Blackwolf Run in Wisconsin later this year

It was an admittedly long day for Doris Chen.

When you play 36 holes in one day on a difficult golf course, even the most patient player can have their wits tested.

Chen, based in Bradenton and an IMG Academy alum, strung together two solid rounds en route to earning medalist honors at the U.S. Women's Open sectional qualifier at The Oaks Club in Osprey on Tuesday.

Chen posted two 71s for a 2-under par 142 total.

Paola Moreno of Colombia and recent Auburn University grad Haley Wilson carded 146 and 148 totals, respectively, to grab the final two qualifying berths into the U.S. Women's Open held July 5-8 in Koehler, Wis.

Chen's consistency in the afternoon round was marked by several par-saving putts that kept the momentum from slipping away.

"My putting worked well," Chen said. "On my last nine, I pretty much saved a lot of pars."

The rising sophomore at the University of Southern California had a simple strategy coming into the event.

Last year, Chen qualified but did so after a playoff following an even-par total.

So on Tuesday, she wasn't leaving anything to chance.

"I tried to play under par," Chen said.

Chen, who relocated to Bradenton from her native Taiwan, has been on the big stage before.

She captured the 2010 U.S. Girls' Junior title, and she played in last summer's U.S. Women's Open.

The Open experience wasn't quite up to par as she missed the cut. But Chen's intent on improving on that performance this year.

"It was really nervous," Chen said. "Last year, I remember the first round, after I had a bogey, my mind just blew up ... It definitely will help. Now I know U.S. Open is really hard. Definitely have to be mentally prepared."

While Chen is heading to her second consecutive U.S. Women's Open, Wilson will be making her first.

Originally, her plan was to play the sectional in Georgia, but the Auburn women's golf team ended its season at the NCAA Central Regional Championship.

Instead, Wilson and some teammates played the sectional qualifier at The Oaks Club.

For her, a 72 in the morning aided by a 76 in the afternoon earned her the final berth.

"It's a great golf course," Wilson said. "It's in great shape. It's definitely a qualifying type golf course. It was a great golf course, though ... the greens were in great shape, so I was putting well there. So it gives me confidence."

Moreno was wedged between Chen and Wilson with a 2-over par 146 total. She fired two 73s.

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