Kono eliminates Lua in Publinx first round
3 from Hawaii advance to the second round
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Hawaii golfers Kimberly Kim, Stephanie Kono and Mari Chun were among those advancing yesterday after the first round of match play at the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links at Lexington, Ky.
Kono first had to play four playoff holes in the morning to even get into match play. The Punahou senior then went on to eliminate stroke-play medalist Tiffany Lua 3 and 1. It was the first time in five years the stroke-play winner failed to advance out of the first round of match play at the Women's Publinx.
"This is big for me because this is probably the first time I've ever really won being the underdog," Kono said.
Kono, Kim -- the U.S. Women's Amateur champion who still lists Hilo as her hometown -- and Kamehameha alumna Chun were scheduled to tee off early this morning in the Round of 32.
Four other Hawaii golfers were eliminated yesterday.
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LEXINGTON, Ky. » Punahou senior-to-be Stephanie Kono, who played four playoff holes in the morning to qualify for match play, eliminated stroke-play medalist Tiffany Lua from the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links yesterday afternoon.
Kono beat Lua 3 and 1 at Kearney Hill Golf Links. It was the first time in five years the stroke-play winner failed to advance out of the first round of match play at the Women's Publinx.
Three Hawaii golfers advanced in the U.S. Amateur Public Links tournament yesterday
Kimberly Kim -- W
Stephanie Kono -- W
Mari Chun -- W
Britney Choy -- L
Miki Ueoka -- L
Xyra Suyetsugu -- L
Kristina Merkle -- L
Other first-round winners included defending champion Tiffany Joh, U.S. Women's Amateur champion Kimberly Kim, who still lists Hilo as her hometown, and two-time NCAA player of the year Amanda Blumenherst. Kamehameha alumna Mari Chun, who plays for Stanford, beat Juli Wightman-Erekson of Chicopee, Mass., in 19 holes
In other matches involving Hawaii golfers, Wonjoo Choi of Korea beat Wahiawa's Britney Choy 2-up; Emily Powers of Quincy, Ill., beat Miki Ueoka of Lihue in 19 holes; Aimee Neff of Carmel, Ind., beat Honolulu's Xyra Suyetsugu 4 and 2; and Kristen Schelling of Mesa, Ariz., beat Honolulu's Kristina Merkle 3 and 2.
The 17-year-old Kono, from Honolulu, is competing in her fourth Public Links. She came out at 7:30 a.m., one of eight golfers in a playoff for the final five spots in match play. At the fourth extra hole, she made a 9-foot birdie putt to eliminate Alexandra Phelps of Albuquerque, N.M.
She continued that momentum into her match against Lua, a teammate on last year's West Squad for the Canon Cup, a Ryder Cup-style event run by the American Junior Golf Association.
"It was an exciting match," Kono said. "I haven't won too many matches being the underdog or being the lower-seeded (player). This is big for me because this is probably the first time I've ever really won being the underdog. But today, I just tried to play steady."
The key stretch came at holes seven through nine. All square going to the par-5 seventh, Lua hit her tee shot in the rough and failed to get up and down for par. Kono stuck her fourth shot within 4 feet and made the par putt for go 1 up.
At the par-3 eighth hole, Kono chipped in from 30 feet for birdie and a 2-up advantage. Another winning par at nine pushed the lead to 3 up.
"In stroke play, I was able to get some easy lies out of (the rough)," said Lua, who has qualified for next week's U.S. Women's Open. "And today it was kind of tough. That always makes it harder. I just had a hard time getting out of the rough today. That's where I lost all my strokes."
Women's Amateur Public Links
At Lexington, Ky.
Round of 64; par-72
Stephanie Kono (Honolulu) def. Tiffany Lua (CA) 3 and 1.
Felicia Espericueta (TX) def. Amber Littman (NC) 4 and 3.
Elizabeth Dotson (TN) def. Amanda Costner (OK) 4 and 3.
Pamela Ontiveros (Mexico) def. Tzu-Chi Lin, (China) 1-up.
Mina Harigae (CA) def. Ana Imelda Tanpinco (Philippines) 4 and 3.
Selanee Henderson (CA) def. Candace Schepperle (AL) 1-up.
Shanshan Feng (SC) def. Annie Park (NY) 7 and 6.
Katie Kempter (NM) def. Aurora Kan (PA) 3 and 1.
Wonjoo Choi (SKorea) def. Britney Choy (Wahiawa) 2-up.
Ashlee Rose (KY) def. Dana Je (OH) 2 and 1.
Jane Chin (CA) def. Krista Burton (KY) 5 and 4.
Kate Ackerson (TX) def. Courtney Mahon (MO) 2 and 1.
Ha-Na Jang (SKorea) def. Hillery Wilson (OH) 1-up.
Emily Powers (IL) def. Miki Ueoka (Lihue) 19 holes.
Mari Chun (Pearl City) def. Juli Wightman-Erekson (MA) 19 holes.
Ryann O'Toole (CA) def. Courtney Gunter (NC) 3 and 2.
Kimberly Kim (Hilo) def. Yu Lee (FL) 5 and 3.
Tonya Choate (MO) def. Lee Lopez (CA) 4 and 2.
Aimee Neff (IN) def. Xyra Suyetsugu (Honolulu) 4 and 2.
Tiffany Joh (CA) def. Mia Kabasakalis (CA) 3 and 2.
Angela Oh (NJ) def. Laura Luethke (CA) 4 and 3.
Kristen Schelling (AZ) def. Kristina Merkle (Honolulu) 3 and 2.
Christine Song (CA) def. Marie Dhel Dela Paz (Philippines) 4 and 2.
Michelle Shin (FL) def. Kimberly Johnson (CA) 1-up.
Marci Turner (KY) def. Jordyn Wells (PA) 4 and 3.
Brianna Do (CA) def. Marina Martinez (CA) 5 and 4.
Kayla Mortellaro (AZ) def. Ashley Mylton (NC) 5 and 4.
RemiJin Camping (FL) def. Mary Mattson (MD) 2 and 1.
Glory Jooyoung Kang (SKorea) def. Julia Huh (MD) 2 and 1.
Stephany Fleet (MI) def. Alexandra Bodemann (FL) 3 and 2.
Amanda Bluemenhurst (AZ) def. Carly Werwie (WI) 5 and 3.
Sara Brown (AZ) def. Erica Moston (CA) 1-up.