Stephanie Kono lost a heartbreaker to Mina Harigae in 19 holes in yesterday's quarterfinals.
The Punahou student loses on the 19th hole in Publinx quarterfinals
Honolulu's Stephanie Kono looked well on her way to a semifinal spot in the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links, with a 2-up lead and two holes to play yesterday at the Kearney Hills Golf Links in Lexington, Ky.
Women's Amateur Public Links
Mina Harigae, Monterey, Calif. (143) def. Stephanie Kono, Honolulu (153), 19 holes.
Wonjoo Choi, South Korea (141) def. Ryann O'Toole, San Clemente, Calif. (145), 3 and 2.
Michelle Shin, Cape Coral, Fla. (146), def. Tonya Choate, Mt. Vernon, Mo. (148), 3 and 2.
Stephany Fleet, Dewitt, Mich. (149) def. Kayla Mortellaro, Phoenix (144), 5 and 4.
Harigae def. Choi, 2 up.
Fleet def. Shin, 5 and 4.
Instead, the incoming Punahou School senior was eliminated by Mina Harigae of California, who birdied three consecutive holes to pull out the quarterfinal victory on the 19th hole. It was the second time that Kono was eliminated by Harigae in a match-play tournament; in last year's U.S. Girls Junior Amateur quarterfinal, Harigae won 4 and 3.
"I guess I'll have to wait," Kono said. "Once I got ahead, I was just trying to make pars and make her make birdies, which she did in the end."
Kono led from the second hole until the 17-year-old Harigae squared the match with birdies on the 372-yard par-4 17th and the 450-yard par-5 18th. Harigae, the California Women's Amateur champion at age 11, finished it with a third consecutive birdie on the 347-yard, par-4 No. 1.
Kono, 17, was looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow Hawaii junior golfers who had made the finals of this event: Michelle Wie, who won in 2003 and was second in 2004, and Kimberly Kim, a finalist last year.
"I hit good shots at 14, 15, 16 and 17," Kono said, "and gave myself chances at birdie, but the putts just slid by."