Golf: Agnes Yamauchi overcomes mishap to advance to senior Amateur

  • Agnes Yamauchi, right, qualified for the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur championship for the second consecutive year.

When is a triple-bogey good enough?

When your good friend does even worse.

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For the record, Agnes Yamauchi did card seven pars Thursday at Ko Olina in Kapolei, Oahu, during an otherwise forgettable round that brought her more in terms of sentimentality than golfing thrills.

There were no highlights, she said, other than a fact she got to play Mira Jang.

“That was nice,” Yamauchi, of Hilo, said.

Still, her 14-over 86 was good enough to take one of two qualifying spots at the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur championship after Ko Olina’s 18th hole, a 377-yard par 4, proved to be an adventure for everyone in the field of seven.

I never thought I would qualify “with such a bad round,” said Yamauchi, who is headed to the senior Amateur for the second consecutive year. This year’s tournament is in late August in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Marie Miyashiro and Jang, last year’s medalist, were tied for the lead entering the final hole, one shot ahead of Yamauchi. Miyashiro bogeyed to become medalist, but Jang took a nine, as did two other golfers in the field. Another carded a quadruple bogey.

If Yamauchi could have gotten up a down she would have become medalist, but she “duffed a shot over the bunker but not on the green” and ended up four-putting.

“This is kind of what my game was like all day,” she said.

But it was good enough, and she got to catch up with a friend.

• Hilo’s Lacey Uchida finished two shots out of the top 10 Thursday at the American Junior Golf Association’s Folds of Honor Championship in Abilene, Texas.

Uchida sandwiched a 75 in between a pair of 79s to finish at 17-over 233, 13 shots behind the winner.

• After opening with a 69 and a 72, Waikoloa’s Ethan Jaehn closed with a 76 on Wednesday and settled for a 1-over 217 and a tie for 31st in the boys 15-18 field at the Futures Champions Golf world championships in Palm Desert, Calif. Hilo’s Isaiah Kanno carded a second consecutive 75 and shot 5-over 221. Hilo’s Riku Omata missed the cut in the boys 15-18 field. On the girls side, Hilo’s Kailey Oki and Chanelle Hwang missed the cut.

• Kanno, Uchida and Kailua-Kona’s Yoonjeong Huh will represent Hawaii at the Junior America’s Cup.

The boys tournament tees off Monday in Edmonton, Alberta, while the girls start July 28 in Murietta, Calif.

• The Hawaii State Junior Golf Association awarded $20,000 worth of college scholarships to six recipients, including three Big Islanders: Hilo’s Trevor Hirata (University of Hawaii), Riley Kaneshiro (Cal State Northridge) and Kailua-Kona’s Matthew Rosato (Pepperdine).

• Former UH-Hilo golfer Isaac Jaffurs finished strong Friday with a 72 at the Oahu County Club Invitational, placing fifth (151) in the the Mid-Am Flight. Jaffurs was coming off of a 12th-place finish at the Barber’s Point Invitational, shooting a 239 on Oahu.

• There were no Big Island golfers who finished U.S. Amateur qualifiers Tuesday at Kapolei Golf Course. Honolulu’s Shawn Lu (5-under 137) took medalist honors, while Oahu’s Lorraine Char (71), Allysha Mae Mateo (71) and Alanis Sakuma (72) locked down spots in the women’s Amateur.

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• After making the cut last week at the Girls Junior PGA Championship, Uchida and Huh tied for 71st in Hartford, Conn., at 15-over 295

• Hilo’s Dysen Park led the island’s contingent last week at the junior worlds in San Diego, posting a 17-over 233 in boys 13-14. Hilo’s Jake Otani came in 38-over 254 in boys 11-12 and Keaau’s Kaha’i’olelo Helm was 53-over 269 in boys 9-10, finishing three shots ahead of Hilo’s Noah Miyazono.

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