Thursday, May 18, 2000
UmemuraBy Bill Kwon
heads field in
Jennie K. tourney
Three-time Jennie K. Wilson winner Anna Umemura heads the field for the 50th anniversary of the state's most prestigious women's tournament starting tomorrow at the Mid-Pacific Country Club.
Umemura, who's home after her junior year at the University of Tennessee where she played No. 5 on the golf team, won the Jennie K. in 1995 as a sophomore at Punahou and again in 1997 and 1998.
She did not defend her title last year as Kari Lee Williams won by seven strokes.
Williams, a former University of Hawaii golfer, has moved to California and is not returning to defend her title.
"I haven't been playing too much because of my studies," said Umemura. "My game is kind of inconsistent right now."
Besides Umemura, the leading golfers in the championship flight include Ohio State graduate Summerset Lovett, UH's Kathy Cho, who won in 1996, reigning state girls' champion Merynn Ito of Aiea High School, and Rachel Kyono, 16, an outstanding Kauai High School golfer with a 2-handicap.
Kyono won the Callaway State Junior Golf Championship to qualify for the Betsy Rawls AJGA Invitational in Wilmington, Delaware, this July. She gave Umemura all she could handle in last year's HSWGA stroke play championship, which was also played at the Lanikai course.
Also in the field are previous Jennie K. champions Bev Kim (1981, Bobbi Kokx (1984) and Mildred Stanley (1985), who now resides in California.
The 54-hole tourney ends Sunday.