U.S. WOMEN'S AMATEUR PUBLIC LINKS
Chun tied for second
at women’s publinx
From staff and wire reports
A fast start helped Pearl City's Mari Chun race to the front of the pack in the opening round of the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship yesterday in Kansas City, Mo.
Chun fired a 4-under-par 67 in yesterday's morning round and is tied for second place heading into today's second round of stroke play.
"I played one shot at a time without having to do it consciously," the Kamehameha graduate said. "It was just one of those rounds where everything was just flowing.
"Some days you might feel you have to make it happen or force it to happen. This was just more like letting it happen."
Chun is tied with Tiffany Chudy entering today's play at Swope Memorial Golf Course.
Chun and Chudy are one stroke behind 16-year-old Angela Park of Torrance, Calif., who shot a 5-under 66 in the afternoon.
The field of 144 will be trimmed to 64 after stroke play today before the event moves into match play tomorrow.
Chun is scheduled to tee off at 9:10 a.m. Hawaii Time.
"I'll go into it with the same mindset," Chun said "I'm just really enjoying the golf course, just appreciating it and relaxing and having fun out there."
Chun, who will play for Stanford next season, got the momentum rolling early in yesterday's round, dropping to 4 under after six holes. She birdied No. 2, posted an eagle on the 429-yard, par-5 fifth hole, and added another birdie on No. 6.
"Some of the pins were in really good places to really go for it," Chun said. "And I ended up close enough to make those birdies and the eagle was just a bonus."
Rather than try to reach the green on No. 5 in two by going over the trees guarding the left side of the fairway, Chun laid up to 58 yards and holed out a lob wedge for the eagle.
She didn't realize the ball had fallen into the cup until she reached the green.
"We walked up and all I saw was my ball mark. I didn't see the ball and it was in the hole," she said.
Chun struggled with her putter in the American Junior Golf Association Rolex Tournament of Champions last week in South Carolina, as 10 three-putts over 63 holes contributed to a 14th-place finish. She arrived in Kansas City early Sunday morning and got a feel for the greens in her practice round later that day.
"Last week's tournament I didn't score too well and it was due to my putting," she said. "When I first got on the golf course I could read the putts really well and I didn't have to worry about it like I did last week."
Chun leads a group of five Hawaii golfers in the Women's Public Links field.
Mariko Shimozaki of Kihei is tied for 11th place at even-par 71. She posted three birdies on the front nine to make up for a double bogey on No. 6, and was 1 over on the back.
Honolulu's Cyd Okino, the youngest player in the field at 11 years old, birdied two of her last three holes to finish tied for 51st at 4 over.
Other Hawaii golfers in the field are Kelly Nakashima (80) of Wailuku and Jandee Kim (89) of Honolulu.
Park, who lost to Honolulu's Michelle Wie in the semifinals of the USGA event last year, had six birdies and one bogey.
"I didn't make a lot of mistakes," Park said. "I didn't three putt. I've been driving really well. I missed only two fairways and three greens."
Wie is playing in the men's Amateur Public Links because the winner traditionally gets an invitation to the Masters. Wie shot a 6-over 76 yesterday and is tied for 84th heading into the second day of stroke play.
The Associated Press contributed to this story