Stephanie Kono took aim at the fairway of the second hole in yesterday's 2-and-1 victory over Felicia Espericueta.
Kono last of Hawaii hopefuls
The Punahou student wins twice to reach the women's public links quarterfinals
Stephanie Kono survived two tight matches yesterday to reach the quarterfinals of the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship for the first time in four appearances in the event.
Kono, the 64th seed and last Hawaii player left in the match-play tournament, defeated Felicia Espericueta 2 and 1 in her second-round match at Kearney Hill Golf Links in Lexington, Ky. The Punahou senior then beat Pamela Ontiveros 2 up to reach this morning's quarterfinal round.
"I started playing well in the playoff for the last (match-play) spot," said Kono, who upset top-seeded Tiffany Lua on Wednesday.
"I'm just trying to take it one match at a time. Actually, one hole at a time."
Kono was to play fellow 17-year-old Mina Harigae of Monterey, Calif., in a quarterfinal match this morning. The winners of the morning matches advance to the semifinals later today. The tournament concludes tomorrow with the 36-hole final.
Kono faced Harigae in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Girls Junior Championship last summer, losing 4 and 3.
Former Hilo resident Kimberly Kim, the reigning U.S. Women's Amateur champion, and Mari Chun of Pearl City were both eliminated in the second round. Kim lost to Tonya Choate of Mt. Vernon, Mo., 3 and 2. Chun fell to Ryann O'Toole of San Clemente, Calif., in 20 holes.
Chun, a Kamehameha graduate now attending Stanford, tied her match when O'Toole bogeyed the 16th hole. They parred the next three holes before O'Toole won the match with a birdie on No. 2.
Kim was 2 up after three holes against Choate, who came back to tie the match at the turn. Kim then fell behind with bogeys on Nos. 10 and 13 and Choate extended her lead with a birdie on the 15th.
Choate went on to upset defending champion Tiffany Joh 4 and 3 in the afternoon round.