POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Apr 21, 2011
She plays free from pain now.
For Marissa Chow, winning the Interscholastic League of Honolulu girls golf title yesterday was about the joy of the game.
The ‘Iolani junior matched her first round with a 71 on a warm, breezy afternoon at Kapolei Golf Course to win her second ILH individual girls title in three years. Macie Komoto of Punahou, who shared the first-round lead with Chow, carded a 73 and finished two strokes back.
Alice Kim of University High had a second-day low of 69 to finish third, three strokes back.
Punahou sophomore Kalena Preus won the boys title, his first, by five strokes.
The comeback story, though, belongs to Chow. After recovering from a severe case of plantar fasciitis two years ago, she was fairly consistent and never lost the lead yesterday.
“I started off really well. I birdied the first and second hole, but then I went bogey-bogey. I held in there until the eighth and ninth and I went birdie-birdie, but the 10th hole, I went bogey. It just went back and forth all day,” she said. “My long putts were going pretty good, but my short putts, I wasn’t so comfortable with. I’m so relieved.”
She relied heavily on her “60,” a six-year old Callaway wedge with a worn-out face.
“I use it for chipping, sand, a lot of things,” she said of the 60-degree face.
Chow was a freshman when she won her first ILH title, just months after her mother, Lynne, died of breast cancer. The pain of that loss was coupled with constant physical struggles due to plantar fasciitis. She took eight months off after that season to begin an intensive program of physical therapy. When she returned, Chow wore orthotics for her feet and gradually regained her stroke.
She’s back to top form now, playing a steady game based on accuracy and a newfound strength. Playing basketball in the winter helped.
“My endurance is a lot better,” she said.
“It was a good diversion for her,” ‘Iolani coach Glenn Inouye said of her foray into hoops. “Her PT and physicians said it might be good for her. It gave her three, four months where she didn’t have to think about golf. She came back stronger.”
Preus followed up on his first-round 63 with a solid 73 yesterday to win the boys individual crown. He finished five strokes ahead of Maryknoll’s Justin Chu and six ahead of ‘Iolani’s Reo Saito, who posted a 68 yesterday.
Fourth-place finisher Skye Inakoshi of Mid-Pacific had the lowest score of the second round with a 67. He was seven strokes back.
“We were having a blast out there. I just wanted to get drives on the fairway,” said Preus, who led the championship (amateur) field at this year’s Mid-Pacific Open. “It’s been pretty crazy and fun. I just gotta be sure to stay grounded and keep working hard.”
Lorens Chan of ‘Iolani, one of the state’s top golfers, did not participate. He was on the mainland playing in a tournament, having already qualified for the state championships.