SOUTH BEND, INDIANA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii's Kimberly Kim, 18, of Pahoa, carded a 5-under-par 66 on Monday to take the first round lead of stroke-play qualifying at the 2010 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship at the par-71 Warren Golf Club.
Kim has a one-stroke lead over Punahou School graduate, Stephanie Kono, 20, and Lizette Salas, 20, Azusa, Calif., both of whom fired 67s.
"I haven't shot under par forever," said Kim.
Kim was the runner up at the Public Links in 2009.
Kim said this round, along with the USA's Curtis Cup victory earlier in the month at Essex County Club, was a good way to start the summer. "It gives you a sense of accomplishment," she said, "a warm feeling."
Kono, a junior-to-be at UCLA where she has been an All-American the past two seasons, had five birdies and a lone bogey in her round.
"I just tried to keep it simple, hit fairways, hit greens and make good putts," said Kono. "I tried to play smart."
Punahou seventh-grader Allisen Corpuz is tied for 32nd at 2 over par. Kelli Oride of Lihue is tied for 51st at 4 over.
Anna Jang of Aiea ended finished the first round tied for 109th at 9 over par. Moanalua High School graduate Kristina Merkle was tied for 120th at 10 over.
Following Tuesday's second stroke-play round, the low 64 scorers will advance into match play. The championship concludes Saturday with a scheduled 36-hole final.
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