POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, May 4, 2011
Britney Yada's parents had never seen their daughter break 70 in person.
At the Big Sky Championships two weeks ago, they were treated to something much better than just that.
With her parents in the gallery watching every swing, Yada claimed individual medalist honors at the conference championship April 20, shattering the previous tournament record of even-par 216 by finishing 6 under in the three-day event.
Yada led from the start and shot a 4-under 68 in the second round to take a commanding lead. She erased any doubt of a collapse by holing out from 105 yards on the first hole of the final round for an eagle and an untouchable lead.
"That was definitely the highlight. It was awesome," Yada said. "I've (broke 70) a few times before but (my parents) have never been there, so they saw this one and it was great to have them witness me playing so great."
Yada, a 2009 Waiakea graduate, is the third Viking to win a Big Sky individual title. Her performance helped Portland State qualify for the NCAA West Regional, which begins tomorrow.
Unfortunately for the Vikings sophomore, the tournament won't be held at the Ocotillo Golf Resort in Chandler, Ariz.
Yada won her first collegiate individual title there at the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic on April 5. Two weeks later, the Big Sky Championship was held at, yes, the very same course.
"I felt really confident coming off that win two weeks before at the same course," Yada said. "Prior to winning the Wyoming tournament, I'd never finished under par for three days and at the Wyoming one I was 3 under and then at the Big Sky I was 6 under."
Yada isn't the only one peaking at the right time. As a team, the Vikings post a 302.3 scoring average for the season, but cut that down to 293.4 over the past three tournaments.
The competition in the regional will be tough as the Vikings are seeded 20th out of the 24 teams. The top eight will advance to the NCAA championships May 18-21 in State College, Texas.
Regional play begins tomorrow at the Washington National Golf Club in Auburn, Wash.
"It's always a big goal of ours to reach regionals each year and hopefully we can make nationals," Yada said. "We played the course earlier this year just to get a feel for it. It's really long, but I think it'll come down to our short game."
Yada, who placed 13th in the high school state tournament as a senior, was the Big Island Interscholastic Federation individual champion three years in a row.
She began playing when she was 8 as a way to spend quality time with her dad.
"He's a big golfer, so we'd always play together at the Hilo Municipal Golf Course, which is like my second home," Yada said.
Her parents won't be able to see her play in regionals, but got to see what Yada calls the best tournament of her career.
After it was over, the team had to fly back to campus quickly, so she wasn't able to celebrate with her parents.
Hopefully, it'll happen soon enough.
"Maybe when I go home for the summer they'll do something nice for me," she said.