Kim Kim sets the pace
The former Hilo resident tops Hawaii's players at the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links
LEXINGTON, Ky. » Kimberly Kim shot a 3-under-par 69 yesterday to lead Hawaii's contingent at the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship.
Kim, a Hilo native and reigning U.S. Women's Amateur champion, entered today's second round of stroke-play qualifying tied for second behind Tiffany Lua's 5-under 67. Kim and Ha-Na Jang of South Korea each shot 69 on the 6,094-yard layout at Kearney Hill Golf Links.
The top 64 golfers after today's 18-hole round advance to the match-play portion of the tournament, which starts tomorrow and runs through Saturday's 36-hole final.
Kim was at even-par following a bogey at the par-5 14th. She then birdied three of the final four holes to move up the leaderboard.
Mari Chun of Pearl City and Miki Ueoka of Lihue both shot even-par 72 and were part of a five-way tie for eighth. Xyra Suyetsugu of Honolulu was another stroke back in a 12-player tie for 13th.
Kristina Merkle of Honolulu was tied for 28th at 3-over 75, followed by Kyung Kim of Kahului (76, tied for 48th), and Stephanie Kono (77, tied for 62nd).
Wahiawa's Britney Choy and Hilo's Summer Mizusawa were both tied for 83rd at 7-over 79.
Lua is a two-time winner on the American Junior Golf Association circuit and a junior-to-be at Los Altos High in Hacienda Heights, Calif.
She hit 15 greens in regulation, and two of her five birdies were tap-ins. Lua did hole a 25-footer at 17 and the other two were from 10 feet.
"Probably the difference between this year and last year is I've been working out to try and get stronger," said Lua, competing in her seventh USGA event. "I've actually gained a club (of distance) and a couple of more yards with my driver. I average 220 to 230. It's not too far, but it's better than it was before."