SOUTH BEND, Ind. » For the first time since 2001, the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship will enter the quarterfinal round without a player from Hawaii.
The last of the golfers with Hawaii ties remaining in this year’s event were eliminated yesterday at The Warren Course at Notre Dame.
Former Big Island resident Kimberly Kim and Punahou graduate Stephanie Kono won their second-round matches then lost in the third round. Kauai’s Kelli Oride was eliminated in the second round.
Kim reached the finals in 2006 and again last year. Kono was a semifinalist in 2008 and reached the quarterfinals in 2007. But neither could get past the third round this time.
Kono went 23 holes to defeat Candace Schepperle in the second round yesterday. The match tied the mark for the second longest in the tournament’s history, trailing only a pair of 26-hole matches in 1993 and 2001.
Kono was 3 up after 13 holes, then bogeyed the next two, and Schepperle tied the match with a birdie on the par-5 17th. They traded pars over the next five holes and Kono advanced with a par on the par-5 fifth hole.
Kono took an early lead against UCLA teammate Brianna Do in a third-round match but lost 3 and 2. Do moved ahead with birdies on Nos. 7 and 8 and took control when Kono double-bogeyed Nos. 11 and 12.
Kim never trailed in her 4-and-3 win over Gyeol Park in the second round. But she couldn’t catch Victoria Sungmin Park in her third-round match and lost 2 and 1.
Oride lost to Auburn All-American Cydney Clanton 5 and 3 in a second-round match.
The last time the quarterfinal round didn’t include at least one Hawaii player was 2001, when then-11-year-old Michelle Wie lost in the third round.
Wie tied for 20th at LPGA
Cristie Kerr, relying on her clutch putting, and untroubled by a heavy downpour that briefly stopped play early in the afternoon, shot a 4-under 68 to match Stacy Lewis and Seon Hwa Lee for the lead at the LPGA Championship at Pittsford, N.Y.
Though admittedly "punchy" after a weather-delayed round that lasted nearly 6 hours, Kerr was not hiding her desire to go from being the top-ranked American to No. 1 in the world before this year is over.
"I feel that as far as No. 1 goes, I’m right in there," said Kerr, who opened the week ranked fifth.
Referring to Ai Miyazato, who took over the top spot after winning the ShopRite LPGA Classic last weekend, Kerr added: "Ai’s been really hot, winning four tournaments. I’m going to have to do some special stuff for the rest of the year, but it can be done."
Inbee Park, the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open champion, Mika Miyazato and Lindsey Wright were a stroke back, leaving a logjam of 16 players within three shots of the lead.
Honolulu’s Michelle Wie bounced back from a tie for 46th last week to shoot an even-par 72 and is tied for 20th.
Wie carded two birdies and two bogeys to finish four shots off the pace.
She hit seven of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens in regulation. Wie needed 30 putts and averaged 262.5 yards off the tee.
Fujikawa shoots 65
Honolulu’s Tadd Fujikawa fired a 6-under-par 65 in yesterday’s second round of the eGolf Tour’s Bushnell Championship, in Carthage, N.C. He has a share of 26th, at 7-under 136, going into the final two rounds.
Makawao’s Samuel Cyr, a King Kekaulike graduate, missed the cut in his second eGolf start. Cyr shot an even-par 72 at Little River Golf Club. His two-day total of 2-under 141 was two off the cut line.
Fujikawa, a 2009 Moanalua High School graduate, had four birdies and an eagle at Southern Pines Golf Club.
The leader is Jason Kokrak, who opened with rounds of 63-66 and is at 14-under 129.