Ayaka Kaneko beat Michelle Shin and advanced to the final match of the the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship yesterday.
Honolulu’s Kaneko into Jr. Girls final
LAKEWOOD, Wash. » From Tokyo to Honolulu and now into the final of the U.S. Girls' Junior Championshp.
Such has been the journey of Ayaka Kaneko, an incoming senior at Sacred Hearts Academy whose family moved to Honolulu from Japan five years ago in order for her to play golf more regularly.
Today, the 17-year-old Kaneko will take on 14-year-old Kristen Park, the youngest remaining player in the tournament. Park prevented an all-Hawaii final yesterday when defeating incoming Punahou senior Stephanie Kono 2-up with a birdie on the 18th hole of the 6,391-yard course at Tacoma Country and Golf Club.
Kaneko never trailed in her semifinal match with 16-year-old Michelle Shin before a birdie at No. 18 clinched her 1-up win.
Park is trying to become the fourth-youngest champion in the tournament's history. She led 3-up after a birdie on No. 13