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USGA Women's Publinx: Rd 1 Match Play Results
20 Jun 2007
see also: U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links, The Home Course

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Lexington, Ky. (June 20, 2007) – Stephanie Kono, 17, of Honolulu, Hawaii, who needed to play four playoff holes in the morning just to make the match-play field, eliminated stroke-play medalist Tiffany Lua, 16, of Rowland Heights, Calif., in the first round of the 2007 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship being held at Kearney Links Golf Links.

It is the first time in five years that the medalist failed to advance out of the first round. Sunny Oh beat Jessica Reese at Sunriver (Ore.) Resort, 9 and 7, in 2002.

Other first-round winners included defending WAPL champion Tiffany Joh, 20, of San Diego, Calif., reigning U.S. Women’s Amateur and ’06 WAPL runner-up Kimberly Kim, 15, of Hilo, Hawaii and two-time NCAA Division I Player of the Year Amanda Blumenherst, 20, of Scottsdale, Ariz., who plays for Duke University and was a member of the victorious 2006 USA Curtis Cup team.

Three players with Kentucky ties also moved on: Marci Turner of Tompkinsville, Ky.; Ashlee Rose of Nicholasville, Ky.; and University of Kentucky player Elizabeth Dotson of White Bluff, Tenn.

Kono, competing in her 11th USGA championship and fourth WAPL, came out at 7:30 a.m. for an 8-for-5 playoff to determine the last spots in match play. At the fourth extra hole, she made a 9-foot birdie putt to eliminate Alexandra Phelps of Albuquerque, N.M.

She continued that momentum into her match against Lua, a former teammate on last year’s West Squad for the Canon Cup, a Ryder Cup-style event run by the American Junior Golf Association.

“It was an exciting match,” said Kono. “I haven’t won too many matches being the underdog or being the lower-seeded [player]. This is big for me because this is probably the first time I’ve ever really won … being the underdog. But today, I just tried to play steady.”

The key stretch came at holes seven through nine. All square going to the par-5 seventh, Lua hit her tee shot in the rough and failed to get up and down for par. Kono stuck her fourth shot within four feet and made the par putt for a 1-up lead. At the par-3 eighth hole, Kono chipped in from 30 feet for birdie and a 2-up advantage. Another winning par at nine pushed the lead to 3 up.

Lua, competing in her seventh USGA championship, blew a chance at 10 when she three-putted. She did win 11 with a par to trim the deficit to 2 down. They halved the next five holes before Kono closed it out with a birdie at the 372-yard, par-4 17th hole.

“My driver pretty much has been killing me these last two days,” said Lua, who has qualified for next week’s U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles. “But in stroke play, I was able to get some easy lies out of [the rough]. And today it was kind of tough. That always makes it harder. I just had a hard time getting out of the rough today. That’s where I lost all my strokes.”

Feeling the pressure of being the defending champion, Joh said it’s been a struggle the first three days of the championship. Fortunately, she was able to escape a first-round exit with a 3-and-2 win over Mia Kabasakalis, 18, of Alameda, Calif. On the 13th hole, Joh hit her tee shot into some tall fescue grass, punched out and eventually holed a 6-foot par putt to halve the hole and maintain a 2-up lead. She closed out the match three holes later with a birdie.

“I think maybe that [personal] parking spot is the worst thing for me,” said Joh, who has a private space that the course made for the defending champion. “Winning match-play tournaments are not easy at all. Last year was different because I came into this tournament not expecting anything and this year … I feel like I have [higher] expectations for myself.”

Joh next faces Aimee Neff of Carmel, Ind., a player she beat, 5 and 4, in the first round of last year’s WAPL. Neff defeated Xyra Suyetsugu of Honolulu, Hawaii, 4 and 2.

Kim won five of her last seven holes, including three in a row to finish the match, to eliminate Korean-born Yu Lee of Orlando, Fla., 5 and 3. Lee, 19, is a sophomore at Duke University.

Lee’s Blue Devil teammate, Blumenherst, had better success in beating Carly Werwie, 18, of Kenosha, Wis., 5 and 3. Blumenherst shared low-amateur honors at the 2006 U.S. Women’s Open with Jane Park and is headed to Pine Needles next week for the ’07 Women’s Open.

Story written by USGA staff writer David Shefter. E-mail him with questions or comments at dshefter@usga.org.

Lexington, Ky. – Results of the first round of match play at the 2007 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship being held at the 6,094-yard, par-72 Kearney Hill Golf Links:

Round of 64 - Upper Bracket

Stephanie Kono, Honolulu, Hawaii (1530 def. Tiffany Lua, Rowland Heights, Calif. (137), 3 and 1
Felicia Espericueta, Edinburg, Texas (148) def. Amber Littman, Stoney Creek, N.C. (147), 4 and 3
Elizabeth Dotson, White Bluff, Tenn. (145) def. Amanda Costner, Edmond, Okla. (151), 4 and 3
Pamela Ontiveros, Mexico (145) def. Tzu-Chi Lin, Chinese Taipei (151), 1 up
Mina Harigae, Monterey, Calif. (143) def. Ana Imelda Tanpinco, Philippines (152), 4 and 3
Selanee Henderson, Apple Valley, Calif. (149) def. Candace Schepperle, Auburn, Ala. (146), 1 up
Shanshan Feng, Hilton Head Island, S.C. (143) vs. Annie Park, Levittown, N.Y. (152), 7 and 6
Katie Kempter, Albuquerque, N.M. (149) def. Aurora Kan, Boothwyn, Pa. (146), 3 and 1
Wonjoo Choi, Korea (141) def. Britney Choy, Wahiawa, Hawaii (153), 2 up
Ashlee Rose, Nicholasville, Ky. (149) def. Dana Je, Columbus, Ohio (147), 2 and 1
Jane Chin, Huntington Beach, Calif. (144) def. Krista Burton, Jamestown, Ky. (151), 5 and 4 
Kate Ackerson, Allen, Texas (145) def. Courtney Mahon, Kansas City, Mo. (151), 2 and 1
Ha-Na Jang, Korea (142) def. Hillery Wilson, Hudson, Ohio (153), 1 up
Emily Powers, Quincy, Ill. (149) def. Miki Ueoka, Lihue, Hawaii (147), 19 holes
Mari Chun, Pearl City, Hawaii (144) def. Juli Wightman-Erekson, Chicopee, Mass. (152), 19 holes
Ryann O’Toole, San Clemente, Calif. (145) def. Courtney Gunter, Matthews, N.C. (151), 3 and 2

Lower Bracket

Kimberly Kim, Hilo, Hawaii (138) def. Yu Lee, Orlando, Fla. (153), 5 and 3
Tonya Choate, Mt.Vernon, Mo. (148) def. Lee Lopez, Whittier, Calif. (147), 5 and 4
Aimee Neff, Carmel, Ind. (145) def. Xyra Suyetsugu, Honolulu, Hawaii (151), 4 and 2
Tiffany Joh, San Diego, Calif. (145) def. Mia Kabasakalis, Alameda, Calif. (151), 3 and 2
Angela Oh, Maple Shade, N.J. (143) def. Laura Luethke, Fresno, Calif. (152), 4 and 3
11:39 a.m.: Kristen Schelling, Mesa, Ariz. def. Kristina Merkle, Honolulu, Hawaii (149), 3 and 2
Christine Song, Fullerton, Calif. def. Marie Dhel Dela Paz, Philippines (152), 4 and 2
Michelle Shin, Cape Coral, Fla. (146) def. Kimberly Johnson, San Diego, Calif. (150), 1 up
Marci Turner, Tompkinsville, Ky. (141) def. Jordyn Wells, Bethel Park, Pa. (153), 4 and 3
Brianna Do, Long Beach, Calif. (148) def. Marina Martinez, Modesto, Calif. (147), 5 and 4
Kayla Mortellaro, Phoenix, Ariz. (144) def. Ashley Mylton, Charlotte, N.C. (151), 5 and 4
RemiJin Camping, Miami, Fla. (145) def. Mary Mattson, Ijamsville, Md. (151), 4 and 3
Glory Jooyoung Yang, Korea (142) def. Julia Huh, Pasadena, Md. (152), 2 and 1
Stephany Fleet, Dewitt, Mich. (149) def. Alexandra Bodemann, Palm City, Fla. (147), 3 and 2
Amanda Blumenherst, Scottsdale, Ariz. (144) def. Carly Werwie, Kenosha, Wis. (152), 5 and 3
Sara Brown, Tucson, Ariz. (146) def. Erica Moston, Belmont, Calif. (150), 1 up

Lexington, Ky. – Pairings and starting times for the second round of match play on Thursday at the 2007 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship being held at the 6,094-yard, par-72 Kearney Hill Golf Links:

Round of 32

Upper Bracket

7:30 a.m.: Stephanie Kono, Honolulu, Hawaii (153) vs. Felicia Espericueta, Edinburg, Texas (148)
7:39 a.m.: Elizabeth Dotson, White Bluff, Tenn. (145) vs. Pamela Ontiveros, Mexico (145)
7:48 a.m.: Mina Harigae, Monterey, Calif. (143) vs. Selanee Henderson, Apple Valley, Calif. (149)
7:57 a.m.: Shanshan Feng, Hilton Head Island, S.C. (143) vs. Katie Kempter, Albuquerque, N.M. (149)
8:06 a.m.: Wonjoo Choi, Korea (141) vs. Ashlee Rose, Nicholasville, Ky. (149)
8:15 a.m.: Jane Chin, Huntington Beach, Calif. (144) vs. Katie Ackerson, Allen, Texas (145)
8:24 a.m.: Ha-Na Jang, Korea (142) vs. Emily Powers, Quincy, Ill. (149)
8:33 a.m.: Mari Chun, Pearl City, Hawaii (144) vs. Ryann O’Toole, San Clemente, Calif. (145)

Lower Bracket

8:42 a.m.: Kimberly Kim, Hilo, Hawaii (138) vs. Tonya Choate, Mt. Vernon, Mo. (148)
8:51 a.m.: Aimee Neff, Carmel, Ind. (145) vs. Tiffany Joh, San Diego, Calif. (145)
9 a.m.: Angela Oh, Maple Shade, N.J. (143) vs. Kristen Schelling, Mesa, Ariz. (146)
9:09 a.m.: Christine Song, Fullerton, Calif. (143) vs. Michelle Shin, Cape Coral, Fla. (146)
9:18 a.m.: Marci Turner, Tompkinsville, Ky. (141) vs. Brianna Do, Long Beach, Calif. (148)
9:27 a.m.: Kayla Mortellaro, Phoenix, Ariz. (144) vs. RemiJin Camping, Miami, Fla. (4 and 3)
9:36 a.m.: Glory Jooyoung Yang, Korea (142) vs. Stephany Fleet, Dewitt, Mich. (149)
9:45 a.m.: Amanda Blumenherst, Scottsdale, Ariz. (144) vs. Sara Brown, Tucson, Ariz. (146)

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