Kono leads local golfers at Publinx
>> Corpuz follows in Wie's cleatmarks
Stephanie Kono is just 18, so it's hard to think of her as a grizzled veteran. But that's what the recent Punahou graduate is at the Women's U.S. Amateur Publinx Championship, and she hopes her experience makes it a long week for her in Erin, Wis.
Kono, in her fifth Publinx, shot even-par 73 yesterday to finish eighth in the two-round stroke-play qualifying after a 76 Monday.
She was among five from Hawaii to make the cut and move into today's first round of match play. Kimberly Kim (74-79--153), Kristina Merkle (76-81--157), Mari Chun (78-80--158) and Kelly Nakashima (81-79--160) also advanced. Nakashima survived an eight-golfer playoff for the last seven spots in the field of 64.
Four Hawaii players -- including 10-year-old Allisen Corpuz (81-88--169), youngest to ever play in the Publinx -- did not make the cut. The others are Cyd Okino (84-79--163), Xyra Suyetsugu (82-84--166) and Kelcie Kawano (89-84--173).
Kono, who had three birdies and three bogeys yesterday, said she was happy with par because of the conditions. She agreed her experience may help in a field with so many young players.
"My game has been pretty good, been pretty steady," she said. "The course is really tough. It's very windy and you just have to stay patient. It's very easy to make high numbers and lose your mind."
After today's matches the field will be pared to eight with two rounds tomorrow. Following the quarters and semis Friday, the 36-hole final match is Saturday.
Kono's best finish was a quarterfinals appearance last year. She wants to join Lori Castillo (1979, 1980) and Michelle Wie (2003) as winners from Hawaii.