Hilo’s Min Advances to Amateur Public Links Championship
Over three weeks after her runner-up finish at the David S. Ishii Foundation / Hawai`i High School Athletic Association Girls Golf Championships, Waiakea High School graduate Ciera Min finished as a runner-up again at the US Women’s Amateur Public Links Sectional Qualifier, held at the Poipu Bay Resort Golf Course on Kauai.
Saturday’s second place finish comes with a bigger prize. Min, along with first place finisher Allisen Corpuz of Honolulu, received an entry into the US Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, played next month at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, OK.
Min, the only Big Island resident to compete in the 10-player field, was in perfect position to finish in the top two after firing a front-nine 38, putting her at a tie at the top of the leaderboard with Corpuz. Min’s back-nine 40 left her two strokes behind the top finisher, as Corpuz’s 38 in the final nine holes locked up the qualifiying win.
Hawai`i has been represented well at the US Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship in recent years. Hilo prodigy Kimberly Kim, now 21 years old, was a runner-up in 2006 and 2009. Honolulu’s Michelle Wie won the 36-hole match play finish in 2003 and lost the following year to Ya-Ni Tseng, who went on to win five major championships on the LPGA tour.
Last year, Min accepted an opportunity to play Division I collegiate golf on the West Coast. She will play for Gonzaga University. The ‘Zags competed in the NCAA Regionals, ironically held at the same golf course as the Public Links Championship. She won’t be the only golfer from the 50th state on the squad. Min will join University Lab School’s Alice Kim, who will be a junior next season.
The third and fourth place finishers were named as alternates in case the top two finishers cannot make the championship. Wahiawa’s Zoey Akagi-Bustin finished five strokes behind Corpuz to become the first alternate. Mackenzie Sowers of Reno, NV finished tied Akagi-Bustin’s 81 to receive the second alternate spot.
The US Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship is held June 17-22.
US Women’s Amateur Public Links Sectional Qualifier
1st – Allisen Corpuz (Honolulu, HI) – 76
2nd – Ciera Min (Hilo, HI) – 78
3rd – Zoey Akagi-Bustin (Wahiawa, HI) – 81
4th – Mackenzie Sowers (Reno, NV) – 81
5th – Rynae Baca (Cedar City, UT) – 82
6th – Taylor Viquelia (Koloa, HI) – 83
7th – Daesza Tomas (Lihue, HI) – 85
8th – Sharron Weber (Lihue, HI) – 94
9th – Madison Baca (Wasilla, AK) – 97
10th – Carol Pratt (Lihue, HI) – 104