USGA Girl's Junior: Rain Delays Matches in NC

Charlotte, N.C.(July 19, 2006) -- A vicious thunderstorm ripped through the area and postponed the second round of match play at the Girls’ Junior Wednesday at Carmel Country Club.

Five matches were finished; 11 were scheduled to resume playing at 7:30 a.m. EDT. Play initially had been suspended at 4:45 p.m.

The postponement subsequently will delay the start of the third-round matches until 9:30 a.m. The quarterfinal round, which was to be played Thursday afternoon, has been bumped to Friday.

Stephanie Kono lines up a putt on the 16th green during her second-round match Wednesday. (Christopher Record/USGA)

Sixteen-year-old medalist Mina Harigae was one of five second-round winners before the suspension occurred. She defeated 16-year-old Margaret Pentrack of Pittsburgh, Pa., 4 and 3, after eliminating 15-year-old Tiffany Dong of Sacramento, Calif., 5 and 3, in the morning’s first session.

Two of the past four medalists have won the Girls’ Junior, the last being Julieta Granada in 2004.

Harigae, a semifinalist in 2003 and four-time California State Women’s Amateur, knew little about either opponent. She had one birdie in the afternoon match and was the equivalent of 1 under par. The birdie came on No. 9 when she stuck her wedge to 5 feet and sunk the putt.

“I wasn’t hitting as close in the afternoon round,” said Harigae, who took a nap between rounds.

“My swing feels really solid. … Coach (Greg LaBelle of the Butch Harmon School) told me to open the club more on the takeaway so the ball goes straighter. And, it worked.”

Earlier in the day, in the first round, 14-year-old MacKinzie Kline of Encinitas, Calif., granted the use of a golf cart because of a congenital heart defect, lost to 16-year-old Ayaka Kaneko of Honolulu, Hawaii, 2 up. She took in oxygen after each hole.

"I had a few hiccups that cost me,” said Kline. “It’s definitely disappointing but I played as good as I could have.”

Had she won her first match, she said didn't know if she could have gone another full match.

Said her caddie, Hugh Montgomery: "I don’t know if she would have won it. I’m not sure how much she had left in the tank.”

In another completed second-round match, 16-year-old Stephanie Kono of Honolulu, Hawaii, defeated 16-year-old Brianna Do of Viet Nam, 3 and 1. Kono trailed by three holes after the first three holes.  She didn’t panic, though. Her putter got hot and the tide started turning.

“In the [Women’s Amateur] Public Links, I was two down and came back,” said Kono, who made it to the third round of that championship. “So, I thought, ‘Three down isn’t so bad.’”

Kono will face Cydney Clanton, 17, of Concord, N.C., in the third round. Clanton knocked off 15-year-old Kristina Wong of Vestal, N.Y., 4 and 3, after pulling ahead for good on the eighth hole.

“I’ve never played with her before,” said Kono. “I’m going to just try to play my own game, try to keep hitting like I’ve been hitting. Strategy is important.  You have to see what the other player does and then you plan your next move.”

Seventeen-year-old Sara Hurwitch of Potomac Falls, Va., got by Wonjoo Choi, 16, Korea, 3 and 2, in her match.

After play was suspended, 17-year-old Mindy Kim of Diamond Bar, Calif., conceded her match to 15-year-old Jane Rah of Torrance, Calif. Rah had been dormie on the 15th hole when the suspension occurred.

Fifteen-year-old Vicky Hurst of Melbourne, Fla, was 4 up on the 14th hole when play was suspended. She spent the next couple of hours in the locker room hanging out. “We were just watching TV,” she said. “We were anxious and waiting to see what would happen.”

The U.S. Girls’ Junior is one of 10 national championships for amateurs conducted annually by the USGA. The Association also conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and the U.S. Senior Open.

Side note: Few would argue if Nick Johnston, 13, won brother of the year, if there is such an award. Johnston caddied for Haley Brown this week to earn some extra cash. When he suffered nose bleeds during the second round of stroke-play qualifying Tuesday, he felt horrible that he couldn’t continue. Brown didn’t make the cut, but Johnston was paid for his services anyway.

On Wednesday, he arrived early at the club, walked into the pro shop and used the money he earned to buy his 12-year-old sister, Emily, a set of U.S. Kids Golf Clubs.

Story written by Ken Klavon, USGA Web Editor. E-mail him with questions or comments at kklavon@usga.org.

Charlotte, N.C. – Results from the first round of match play Wednesday at the 2006 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship at the 6,396-yard, par-72 Carmel Country Club:

Round Of 64
Mina Harigae, Monterey, Calif.  def. Tiffany Dong, Sacramento, Calif.  5 and 3
Margaret Pentrack, Pittsburgh, Pa.  def. Jennifer Kirby, Canada  1 up
Sara Hurwitch, Potomac Falls, Va.  def. Ariana Patterson, Carmel, Calif.  3 and 2
Wonjoo Choi, Korea  def. Dakoda Dowd, Palm Harbor, Fla.  4 and 3
Kristina Wong, Vestal, N.Y.  def. Marika Lendl, Bradenton, Fla.  1 up
Cydney Clanton, Concord, N.C.  def. Maude-Aimee Leblanc, Canada  2 and 1
Brianna Do, Viet Nam  def. Taylore Karle, Scottsdale, Ariz.  2 up
Stephanie Kono, Honolulu, Hawaii  def. Courtney Harter, Clearwater, Fla.  5 and 4
Mindy Kim, Diamond Bar, Calif.  def. Katie Detlefsen, Eagan, Minn.  19 holes
Jane Rah, Torrance, Calif.  def. Cassandra Blaney, Rochester, N.Y.  5 and 4
Ayaka Kaneko, Honolulu, Hawaii  def. Mackinzie Kline, Encinitas, Calif.  2 up
Vicky Hurst, Melbourne, Fla.  def. Jaclyn Sweeney, Bradenton, Fla.  7 and 5
Isabelle Lendl, Bradenton, Fla.  def. Ashley Edwards, Antioch, Calif.  3 and 2
Kimberly Kim, Hilo, Hawaii  def. Becca Huffer, Denver, Colo.  4 and 3
Tanya Wadhwa, India  def. Stacey Kim, Columbus, Ga.  3 and 2
Kristie Smith, Australia  def. Emily Johnson, Warsaw, Ind.  4 and 2
Maria Jose Uribe, Colombia  def. Katie Conway, Wading River, N.Y.  1 up
Alexandra Bodemann, Palm City, Fla.  def. Britney Choy, Wahia, Hawaii  2 and 1
Christine Song, Fullerton, Calif.  def. Jennifer Hirano, Pinole, Calif.  2 and 1
Kate Scarpetta, Moosic, Pa.  def. Sydney Burlison, Salinas, Calif.  20 holes
Patty Chawalitmetha, Bellflower, Calif.  def. Kelsey Vines, Austin, Texas  2 and 1
Ellen Mueller, Evansville, Ind.  def. Lisa McCloskey, Montgomery, Texas  20 holes
Esther Choe, Scottsdale, Ariz.  def. Joanne Lee, San Carlos, Calif.  3 and 1
Kelsey Lindenschmidt, West Chester, Ohio  def. Grace Na, Oakland, Calif.  2 and 1
Lindy Duncan, Plantation, Fla.  def. Cheyenne Woods, Phoenix, Ariz.  1 up
Natalie Sheary, West Hartford, Conn.  def. Ellie Arkin, Reedsburg, Wis.  5 and 4
Jenny Shin, Torrance, Calif.  def. Tiffany Lua, Rowland Heights, Calif.  3 and 2
Lila Barton, Dallas, Texas  def. Taylor Weaver, Spartanburg, S.C.  6 and 4
Elisa Aoki, Bradenton, Fla.  def. Ashley McKenney, Scottsdale, Ariz.  1 up
Michelle Shin, Cape Coral, Fla.  def. Marina Alex, Wayne, N.J.  7 and 6
Sally Watson, Scotland  def. Kimberly Johnson, San Diego, Calif.  5 and 4
Kimberly Donovan, Hopkinton, Mass.  def. Megan Grehan, Mamaroneck, N.Y.  19 holes

Round Of 32 (Completed – 11 groups have not completed matches)
Mina Harigae, Monterey, Calif.  def. Margaret Pentrack, Pittsburgh, Pa.  4 and 3
Sara Hurwitch, Potomac Falls, Va.  def. Wonjoo Choi, Korea  3 and 2
Cydney Clanton, Concord, N.C.  def. Kristina Wong, Vestal, N.Y.  4 and 3
Stephanie Kono, Honolulu, Hawaii  def. Brianna Do, Viet Nam  3 and 1

ABOUT THE U.S. Girls' Junior Amateur

The Girls Junior Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted by the USGA. The event is open to female golfers who have not reached their 18th birthday prior to the close of competition and whose USGA Handicap Index does not exceed 18.4. 36 hole stroke play qualifying from which 64 players advance to match play. Regional qualifying held at sites around the United States.

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