Taylor Viquelia tries for U.S. Women’s Open

HONOLULU — Kauai native Taylor Viquelia, playing golf for the Southern Utah Thunderbirds, finished 20th at the United States Golf Association 2016 U.S. Women’s Open Sectional Qualifier Monday at the Waialae Country Club on Oahu.

The top finisher and qualifier to the U.S. Women’s Open went to Punahou senior Allisen Corpuz who finished the two days of play with a 141 (69-72), just a stroke ahead of fellow Punahou senior Mariel Galdiano who ended with a two-day 142 (71-71) despite firing a consistent one-under par game on both days. Galdiano is the first alternate to the U.S. Women’s Open.

Second alternate honors go to Malia Nam, a Kaiser High School senior who finished the qualifier with a 149, tied with Sarah Kemp for third place in the tournament.

The leaders are no strangers to Kauai after participating in the recent David S. Ishii Foundation Hawaii High School Association 2016 Girls Golf Championship at the Wailua Golf Course.

Corpuz finished the 36 holes of competition as the state champion following a four-hole playoff against Galdiano. Nam finished fourth in the state tournament with an identical 149 (76-73).

Viquelia, an alumnus of Kauai High School where she was on the golf team, finished her 2015-2016 school year by being named the Big Sky Conference Women’s Player of the Year.

The left-handed golfer finished first at the Weber State Wildcat Invitational in September, and tied for fifth place at the Big Sky Conference Championship tournament which was contested April 18 through 20 at the Boulder Creek Golf Course, Desert Hawk and Coyote Run courses.

Through the year, Viquelia averaged 73.59 with her lowest score being a 69.

Viquelia started playing golf when she was 5 years old after watching her father, Robin Viquelia, play. She knocked a hole-in-one when she was 11 years old.

Her brother Jacob plays with the Kauai High School boys golf program under coach Alton Amimoto.

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