Meet The 2007 WAPL Quarterfinalists
Tonya Choate, Mt. Vernon, Mo.: Born Nov. 22, 1985 in Springfield, Mo….Attends Drury University, where she
will be a senior in the fall…Was first alternate out of Glendale, Mo., sectional, but got into the field 10 days prior to the start of the championship…Shot 81 in qualifying with six three-putt holes…Competing in second WAPL and second USGA championship…Made it to match play at 2006 WAPL, losing in first round…Defeated two reigning USGA national champions (U.S. Women’s Amateur winner Kimberly Kim and WAPL winner Tiffany Joh) on the same day to reach the quarterfinals…Father, Rex, is serving as her caddie…Brother Mitch (22) is in the Air Force…In 2005-06 season, won eight of 12 Division II tournaments for Drury, including six in a row…Once shot 94-74 to win a junior tournament when she was 17…Lowest competitive score is a 69 shot in Chicago this past spring…Owned 54-hole lead at 2007 NCAA Division II Championship, only to shoot a 78 the final day and finish fifth (76-72-71-78)…Was third at Division II regionals and won Lewis Invitational in Chicago…Runner-up at Missouri State University Tournament in 2007…Made the Dean’s List for academics in 2005-06…NCAA Division II All-American in 2006 and ’07…Honorable-mention All-American in 2005…Always uses a quarter given to her by her grandfather to mark her ball…Likes pink tees and the Nos. 1 and 3 on her golf ball…Loves all sports, but also likes to shade and draw still-life pictures.
Wonjoo Choi, Korea: Born Oct. 4, 1989 in Kyeong Ki Do, Korea…Came to the U.S. four years ago with her
family and lives in Temecula, Calif…Attends Linfield Christian High School. Will be a senior in the fall…Competing in first WAPL and fourth USGA championship overall…Lost in the first round at the U.S. Girls’ Junior in 2005 and ’06; missed the cut in 2004…Advanced to the semifinals of the American Junior Golf Association Polo match-play event last fall, losing to Cydney Clanton…Was first alternate for the 2007 WAPL out of Murrieta, Calif., qualifier and was called by the USGA two weeks ago when a spot became available…Lowest competitive score is a 67…Tied for eighth at the 2007 Heather Farr event in Arizona (73-76-74)…Owns two AJGA tournament titles (Fidelity and Pinnacle)…Hobbies include playing on the computer.
Mina Harigae, Monterey, Calif.: Born Nov. 1, 1989 in Monterey, Calif…Will be a senior
at Stevenson School…Competing in her 13th USGA championship and will make it 14 when she plays in the U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles next week…Won California State Women’s Amateur at the age of 11, which is a record…Quarterfinalist at 2006 WAPL when she was the co-medalist with Hannah Jun…Semifinalist at 2003 and ’06 U.S. Girls’ Junior…Was medalist at 2006 U.S. Girls’ Junior…Reached third round of the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 2004 and ’06…In 2005, took eventual winner Morgan Pressel to extra holes in second round and it arguably was one the best match of the week…Won 2007 Verizon Heritage Junior, shooting 71-68…Third at 2007 Scott Robertson (73-71-72)…Won California Women’s Amateur from 2001-04…Lucky charm is her loving bear head cover…Parents own a sushi restaurant in Monterey…Enjoys listening to music, watching movies, going to the beach and hanging out with friends…Named Stevenson School Athlete of the Year for 2004-05 season…First-team American Junior Golf Association All-American in 2005 and ’06…Played for West team at 2006 Canon Cup…Recently tied for eighth at AJGA Thunderbird Invitational in Scottsdale, Ariz., shooting 75-71-74…Played with Tom Kite at The First Tee Open at Pebble Beach…Lowest competitive score is 62 shot at Sea Island Golf Club. Also shot a 64 at Carmel C.C. in Charlotte at 2006 U.S. Girls’ Junior.
Stephany Fleet, DeWitt, Mich.: Born Feb. 11, 1987 in Lansing, Mich…Will be a junior at Eastern Michigan in the
fall…Competing in first USGA championship…Birdied first hole of a playoff at sectional qualifying to get into the field…Dad Greg Fleet is serving as her caddie…Has one brother, Jason (17)…Finished eighth at Mid-America Conference Championship, shooting 82-79-75-76…Won Southern Illinois Saluki Invite (72-73)…Runner-up at 2006 Lady Irish Invite (Notre Dame)…Named first-team All-MAC in 2007…2007 Academic All-American and won Eastern Michigan University Scholar Athlete Award…Academic All-MAC in 2006…One of her favorite pastimes is cooking and she loves watching The Food Network…Lowest competitive score is a 72…Beat 2006 WAPL semifinalist Sara Brown to reach the quarterfinals…Loves playing and coaching volleyball, and a variety of water sports (water skiing, wake boarding and tubing)…Most memorable golf moment was winning the state team high school championship in Michigan her senior year...Two-time all-conference volleyball player in high school...majoring in finance/economics.
Stephanie Kono, Honolulu, Hawaii: Born Nov. 27, 1989 in Honolulu, Hawaii…Will be a senior this fall at The
Punahou School, the same private institution that Michelle Wie attended…Competing in fourth WAPL and 11th USGA championship overall…Qualified for the 2006 U.S. Women’s Open…Shares same instructor as Hawaiian teen Tadd Fujikawa, a 2006 U.S. Open qualifier…Second time she has reached the quarters in a USGA event, but it’s the farthest she’s gone at the WAPL. Also advanced to round of eight at the 2006 U.S. Girls’ Junior, where she lost to Mina Harigae, 4 and 3. Harigae is Kono’s opponent in the quarters at the ’07 WAPL…Was the last qualifier into match play, going four holes in a playoff on Monday to garner the No. 64 spot. Then defeated stroke-play medalist Tiffany Lua, 3 and 1…Made match play at the 2006 U.S. Women’s Amateur…Lowest competitive score is a 64 shot at Turtle Bay Golf Club in 2006…Owns three holes-in-one – 2001 at Oahu C.C. (11 years old), 2004 at Westfield (Ohio) C.C.; and 2005 at Kapalua G.C…Won 2007 Silverbelle event at Arizona State’s Karsten Course in Tempe, Ariz., with scores of 70-70-72…Tied for second at Heather Farr tournament (70-70-73)…Semifinalist at the 2006 AJGA Polo Classic at Sea Island G.C…Also won 2005 Westfield PGA and 2005 Harder German Junior Masters…First team AJGA All-America in 2006…Likes to listen to music and watch movies…Claims she can wiggle her right ear.
Kayla Mortellaro, Phoenix, Ariz.: Born July 9, 1990 in Phoenix…Will be a senior at Mesa Distance Learning this
Competing in third WAPL and seventh USGA event overall. Has played in four previous U.S. Girls’ Juniors…Father, Tom Mortellaro serving as her caddie…Is an only child…Once had a hole-in-one during a practice round for Junior World competition in San Diego at Singing Hills…Also had a hole-in-one in 2001 at Ahwatukee C.C…Won 2004 Arizona Women’s State Amateur…Won Southwestern Section State from 2000-05…Runner-up at Big I in 2006…Lowest competitive score is 64 shot at Antelope Hills in 2004…Likes spending times with friends, working out and watching movies.
Ryann O’Toole, San Clemente, Calif.: Born Feb. 11, 1987 in Agoura Hills, Calif.…Will be a junior at UCLA in the fall…Competing in second WAPL…Missed the match-play cut in 2006…Also competed in one U.S. Girls’ Junior in 2004, where she reached the first round of match play…Quarterfinalist at 2006 North and South Women’s Amateur…Also played in the 2005 North and South…Local resident Tim Batora is serving as her caddie this week…Once had back-to-back eagles on two par-4s, holing out from the fairway each time…Owns three holes-in-one…Lowest competitive round is 64…Finished sixth at PING/ASU Sun Devil tournament, shooting 73-67-72…Led UCLA to NCAA Division I Championship appearances the past two years…Reached the third round of the 2005 U.S. Women's Amateur at Ansley Golf Club's Settindown Creek Course...Likes to surf and work out
Michelle Shin, Cape Coral, Fla.: Born April 26, 1991 in New York, N.Y…Competing in first WAPL and fourth USGA
event overall…Has played in three U.S. Girls’ Junior Championships, reaching the quarterfinals in 2006 when she lost to eventual champion Jenny Shin (no relation)…Was exempt into WAPL field based on quarterfinal showing at ’06 Girls’ Junior…Will be a junior at Canterbury High…Lowest competitive score is a 66 shot on home course…Once got attacked by a bird on the golf course…Loves to sleep…Has one brother (Ben) and one sister (Suzie)...Father moved to Florida nine years ago to open a Japanese steakhouse that features teppanyaki-style cooking as well as a sushi bar. Shin took up the game at the age of seven as way to add more balance in her life...Now the game provides a nice balance between golf and school...Doesn't know where she wants to attend college, but has seen the Duke and Wake Forest campuses during trips to North Carolina.