U.S. JUNIOR AMATEUR GOLF
Kono, Fujikawa among Hawaii youths advancing
But Kaneko and Kim are on the verge of elimination today
Stephanie Kono of Honolulu won two matches yesterday to advance to the third round of the U.S. Girls' Junior, and Tadd Fujikawa won his match to advance to the second round in the U.S. Junior Amateur. The two highlight a group of five local golfers who advanced yesterday in USGA junior play.
The 15-year-old Fujikawa, who played in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, edged Jack Fields of Southern Pines, N.C., in 19 holes at the U.S. Junior Amateur at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club.
"I grinded it out. I played smart," said Fujikawa, a sophomore at Moanalua High School. "It was blow for blow every single hole."
Kono defeated Courtney Harter of Clearwater, Fla., 5 and 4, in the first round before besting Brianna Do of Vietnam 3 and 1 in one of only five second-round matches completed yesterday.
Two other Hawaii golfers, Ayaka Kaneko of Honolulu and Kimberly Kim of Hilo, won their first-round matches, while fellow island golfer Britney Choy fell 2 and 1 to Alexandra Bodemann of Palm City, Fla.
Kaneko won a 2-up decision over MacKinzie Kline of Encinitas, Calif., who was allowed to use a golf cart because of a congenital heart defect.
"I had a few hiccups that cost me," Kline said. "It's definitely disappointing, but I played as good as I could have."
In the second round, Vicky Hurst of Melbourne, Fla., led Kaneko 4 up after 14 holes.
Kim defeated Becca Huffer of Denver 4 and 3. In the second round, Kim trailed Isabelle Lendl of Goshen, Conn., the 14-year-old daughter of former tennis star Ivan Lendl, 3 up after 13 holes.
Play was suspended because of rain at 4:45 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time, with 11 second-round matches still in progress. The matches will be completed today, with the third round to follow. The quarterfinals, originally set for this afternoon, will be played tomorrow.
In boys U.S. Junior Amateur action at Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., Sean Maekawa of Paauilo, Hawaii, beat Scott Pinckney, of Anthem, Ariz., 2 and 1. Meanwhile, New Zealand's Danny Lee defeated T.J. Kua of Lihue, 6 and 5.
Defending champion Kevin Tway and Hawaii-born Arnond Vongvanij also advanced yesterday.
Tway, the 17-year-old son of PGA Tour winner Bob Tway, beat Clayton Rotz of Chambersburg, Pa., 2 and 1, and the 17-year-old Vongvanij edged the youngest player in the field, 13-year-old David Flynn of Elk Grove Village, Ill., 2-up.
Tway, the Edmond, Okla., player who beat Vongvanij in the semifinals last year at Longmeadow in Massachusetts, built a 3-up lead through 10 holes and never trailed. Tway improved to 7-0 in match play in the event.
Vongvanij, a University of Florida recruit, lost a 4-up edge and held only a one-hole advantage with three to play. On the 18th, Vongvanij hit a 5-wood to 5 feet and two-putted to end the match.
"We never know who could catch on fire and birdie out," Vongvanij said of losing his 4-up lead. "I did throw away a couple of holes and he made some birdies and that left me with 1 up and that was really close."