Honolulu’s Stephanie Kono has made it into the quarterfinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links by defeating Arizona’s Alexandra Stewart, yesterday, 5 and 4.
The 18-year-old Punahou School graduate, who is headed to UCLA this fall, is competing in her fifth Public Links. She advanced to the quarterfinals last year before being eliminated by eventual winner, Mina Harigae.
Yesterday, Kono went 1 up on Stewart on the second hole. The two parred the next three holes. Kono got the edge when she went 2-up, parring the par-36, while Steward bogeyed it.
She went 3-up with a birdie on the 10th and 4-up with another on the 11th. By the 14th, Kono has went 5-up and the match ended early.
She is the only Hawai‘i golfer left in the competition. Last year’s finalist and 2006 U.S. Women’s Amateur Champion, Kimberly Kim, was defeated on Tuesday by California’s Brianna Do. Kristina Merkle of Honolulu, Mari Chun of Pearl City and Hilo’s Kelly Nakashima were also eliminated on Tuesday.
Kono played two rounds yesterday. Earlier, she defeated Ani Gulugian of California, 4 and 2. Kono shot five birdies over her last seven holes to close out the round. That advanced her to the match with Stewart.
Today, Kono is paired with Florida’s Michelle Shin in the first group. Kono and Shin have faced off before in junior golf competitions.
Shin advanced through the day by beating Oklahoma’s Ellen Mueller, 2 and 1, earlier in the day. She then beat Angela Oh of New Jersey, 5 and 3.
The quarters and the semis will be played today with the Public Links concluding tomorrow.