Waiakea graduate surges into match play at women’s publinx


Once the fog lifted, everything fell into place for Nani Yanagi.

The Waiakea graduate carded a 2-under 70 on Tuesday in Dupont, Wash., to qualify for match play at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship for the first time.

“It would mean a lot to make the cut,” Yanagi said before the 64-player field was made official. “This is my third and last chance at this tournament.”

The publinx will be retired after this season.

After recording a 2-over 146 to tie for 41st, Yanagi will meet 20th-seeded Sirene Blair of South Jordan, Utah, on Wednesday in match play. Blair finished stroke play with a 69 and tied for 17th at 3-under.

Yanagi called a fog that delayed her morning tee time by an hour “pretty bad,” but she overcame any lingering visibility issues with strong shot-making and precision on The Home Course’s four par-3 holes.

“I think I just felt more comfortable today,” she said. “I gave myself more opportunities to make pars and birdies.”

Yanagi made her first birdie on the 140-yard No. 6, teeing off with a 7-iron and sinking a 10-foot putt. On the 151-yard 12th hole, Yanagi used a 6-iron and converted a 6-foot putt.

On the back nine, Yanagi missed just one green in regulation.

The Washington State junior’s only bogeys came on Nos. 7 and 11, both par 4s.

Eun Jeong Seong of South Korea grabbed the top seed at 10-under.

Other golfers from Hawaii to advance were Mariel Galdiano (5-under) of Pearl City, Oahu; Honolulu’s Kaci Masuda (4-under); Honolulu’s Eimi Koga (3-under); Cassy Isagawa (2-under) of Wailuku, Maui; and Honolulu’s Alice Kim (3-over) and Rose Huang (3-over).

Men’s publinx: Waiakea graduate Dalen Yamauchi carded a 6-over 77 and failed to advance in Newton, Kan.

The University of Hawaii at Hilo senior finished at 11-over 153, six shots behind the cut.

Hilo’s Clayton Amuro (79-86—165) and Brett Furutani (89-87—176) also wrapped up play.

There was a four-way tie for the top spot at 8-under, and Honolulu’s John Oda (2-under) was the only golfer from Hawaii to move on to match play.

 

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