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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, August 10, 2006

Three from Hawai'i advance in U.S. Am

Advertiser Staff and Wire

Three of four Hawai'i golfers won their matches in the opening round of the U.S. Women's Amateur yesterday at the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore.

Ayaka Kaneko, a Sacred Hearts junior; Mari Chun, a Stanford University sophomore from Pearl City; and Kimberly Kim, a former Big Island resident now living in Arizona; all advanced to today's second round.

Punahou School junior Steph-anie Kono lost her opening match.

Kaneko parred the par-5 18th to even her match with Jenna Pearson, of Wheaton, Ill. Then, after matching pars on the next two holes, Kaneko parred the par-4 third for a 1-up victory. In today's second round, Kaneko will play Taiwan's Pei-Lin Yu, who defeated Kono, 5 and 4.

Kim took a 1-up lead with a birdie-3 on the par-4 eighth hole and never trailed again in beating Megan Grehan, of Mamaroneck, N.Y., 2 and 1. Kim takes on Lauren Espinosa, of Hickory Creek, Texas, who upset Jane Park, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., 1-up.

Chun was 3-up after 13 holes, but Amanda Blumenherst, of Scottsdale, Ariz., won the 14th and 15th holes to trail by one. Both players parred the 16th, then finished with matching birdies on the last two holes.

After Blumenherst made her birdie putt at 18, Chun backed away from a 10-foot birdie putt. Her mother Lani also her caddie approached her.

"She told me to believe in myself," said Chun, who will face Spain's Carlota Ciganda in this morning's second round.

Kono and Yu halved the first hole with pars, but Yu won the second, fourth and fifth holes to take a 3-up lead. Kono won the seventh, but Yu won the ninth, 11th and 13th before closing out the match when both parred the 14th.

Top qualifier and Curtis Cup member Paige Mackenzie, from Yakima, Wash., defeated Leah Wigger of Louisville, Ky., the 64th qualifier, 3 and 2.

Winners of this morning's second-round matches advance to the third round this afternoon.

The quarterfinals will be held tomorrow, the semifinals on Saturday and the 36-hole final on Sunday.


For $1,000, short game guru Stan Utley will share the techniques and scoring shots he has helped PGA Tour pros and Hawai'i pro David Ishii with at Ko Olina Golf Club on Sept. 13.

The morning group goes from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and the afternoon group from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Each session costs $1,000.

For registration, contact Ko Olina Director of Golf Greg Nichols (676-5300, ext. 225).

Utley has worked with pros such as Peter Jacobsen and Jay Haas. Ishii, inducted into the Hawai'i Golf Hall of Fame this year, worked with Utley earlier this year and won the Mid-Pacific Open the following week.



Glen Higa has been named the corporate sales director for the University of Hawai'i, Herman Frazier, the school's athletic director announced yesterday.

Higa, the former sales manager at ESPN 1420, will begin at UH immediately.

"Glen has excellent sales experience and a real familiarity with the UH athletics department," Frazier said. "Having worked with UH's radio partner, ESPN 1420, he understands the goals of the department and will work effectively with our various corporate partners."

Higa, 36, will coordinate sponsor inventory, packaging, sales, fulfillment and corporate relations. He also will be involved in other external areas, including marketing, advertising, promotions and ticket-sales initiatives.

"As a lifelong UH sports fan, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to become a member of the team and work with great corporate partners and fans, who enjoy being a part of UH athletics," Higa said.

Previous to working at ESPN 1420, Higa was an account manager at KHON2.



Three women's basketball players have transferred to Chaminade and will compete for the Silverswords in their inaugural 2006-07 season, head coach Cory O'Dell announced yesterday.

Simrin Cummins, a native of Eugene, Ore., is a 5-foot-9 transfer from Linn Benton Community College, where she was a captain this past year, averaging 9.5 points and 4 rebounds per game.

Marian Murphy, of Benicia, California, was a sophomore starter this past year on the Solano College Bay Valley Conference Championship team. During her campaign for the Falcons, Murphy received the "Falcon Award" for the team's highest academic GPA.

Katherine Carlisle, a 5-foot-7 transfer from Grays Harbor College and native of Wishkah, Wash., averaged 13 points and 4 rebounds.



The Chaminade women's softball team signed Kamehameha's Kristine Mihara, Mililani's Chasity Senas and Leilehua's Tiana Vierra for the 2007 season, coach Kent Yamaguchi announced this week.

Mihara, a third baseman and utility player, was a first-team all-league selection for the Warriors. She was a second-team all-league selection her junior year.

Senas, an outfielder, was a first-team all-state selection for the Trojans, who finished second in the state tournament this past season. Mililani won the title in 2005.

Vierra, a pitcher, won team MVP honors and was an honorable mention all-league selection for the Mules, the O'ahu Interscholastic Association runner-up this past season. Vierra was also an OIA second-team pick for volleyball.