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Tuesday, September 02, 2014         

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UH still working its way up

By Ann Miller

POSTED:


Fall ended for the University of Hawaii women's golf team Wednesday when it came out 10th in its 12-team Rainbow Wahine Invitational at Leilehua. The UH men close its fall season next week on Kauai at the St. Regis Princeville Warrior-Wave Invitational.

Fittingly, the time change on the mainland comes in between. Both coaches need their teams to spring forward.

"At this point in the fall season we're finally playing closest to our potential …," says Wahine coach Lori Castillo, who has just five healthy players and is still looking for her team's first sub-300 score. "The spring will be different. I'm happy with how we're practicing and improving. I'm not totally disappointed because maybe 80 percent of what's going on out there is real solid. The other 20 percent … we just need to leave that out or minimize the damage."

Florida International won the Wahine Invitational by two over Toledo, closing with a 12-over par 300 for a 54-hole total of 895. The Wahine shot 313—937, led by senior Ka‘ili Britos for the fourth straight tournament.

The Kamehameha graduate finished in a tie for 28th at 79—230. She was followed by freshman Nichole Cruz (76—234), juniors Charlee Kapiioho (81—236) and Liana Otake (77—237), and senior Megan Inouye (81—249).

Florida International's Shelby Coyle sank a 15-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole to claim medalist honors over Eastern Michigan's Sarah Johnson. Both shot 73—218.

That is where Britos would like to be when Hawaii closes its spring season with its Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational, Anuenue Spring Break Classic at Kapalua and first Big West Championship. She was 13th at the last tournament and is seeking Top 10s in what might be her final semester of competitive golf. Britos is in the process of applying to law school.

The difference in her game since she was playing for Kamehameha is a little bit technical and much more mental. She now has the confidence to turn a bogey-bogey-double-bogey start into a score in the 70s, as she did Wednesday. Britos also has found more fun in the sport.

"Obviously it's competitive and I want to be putting up my score and prove to the coach I deserve the spot I have," she says. "In that way, it's hard work. At the same time, I can find more enjoyment now, work on things to make myself better as a person. It really is a mental game, shaping situations and looking at it differently, putting a positive spin on it if it's not going my way."

Castillo hopes to bring in four recruits next year. She wants her team to "play better and play smarter" in the spring.

"My goal is to make them better golfers," the three-time USGA champion says. "Give them better drills, use out-of-the-box thinking to make them stronger, tougher golfers who can endure the whole round, not just part of it."

UH men's coach Ronn Miyashiro has 10 on his roster. Lihue's Cory Oride and Waikoloa's Henry Park are the only seniors. Oride is the only Rainbow who has played Princeville Makai before Saturday's practice round.

"Historically we do a little better at home because we're more comfortable," says Miyashiro, whose team finished 16th and 17th its first two starts. "Last year we were second in this tournament, but it's a whole different field. My goal is to be top five. That's realistic."

Hawaii is co-hosting the Warrior-Wave Invitational with Pepperdine starting Monday. There are 16 teams, including UH's B squad. Four are in Golfweek's Top 50, led by No. 34 San Diego State. The Warriors are trying to break into the Top 200, and replace TJ Kua, their anchor the past four years.

"Realistically I knew we'd have a little difficulty trying to replace TJ in the lineup," Miyashiro says. "We're trying to do it with numbers now. Ryan (Kuroiwa) has played well, well enough to be a definite second counter. … He makes a few mistakes, but he is in a battle with Cory for No. 1."

Miyashiro's spring plan includes more individual work and a way to find more consistency.

"We've got to be more consistently around par," he says. "No higher than 290 and we need to go as low as the 270s. That puts us in contention in some tournaments and competitive in all the others."

His plan this week is for the Warriors to bask in the familiar wind and rain of Kauai's North Shore and let the competition get distracted by Princeville's sensational ocean views.

"Guys from Indiana and Georgia Southern don't see too much of that," Miyashiro says. "I hope it works in our favor."

CHIP SHOTS

Ota, Taketa going for another championship

Jonathan Ota and Lance Taketa go for a three-peat next week at the 12th annual Bridgestone Golf Pro-Scratch at Pearl Country Club.

Ota, general manager of Tip Top Cafe on Kauai and a Manoa Cup champ, is the "scratch" amateur partner and Hilo Muni's Taketa is the pro. They are a combined 35-under par at the tournament the past two years.

There are 44 entries, including father-son teams Stan and TJ Kua, and Lance and Nathan Suzuki. Sponsor Del-Marc Fujita is playing with Casey Nakama, whose last start was on the Champions Tour. Dave Eichelberger, a six-time winner on that tour, is playing with E.J. MacNaughton.

Hawaii golf Hall of Famers Larry Stubblefield and Brandan Kop are teaming up. Regan Lee is playing with Todd Rego and former champs Kevin Hayashi and Elton Tanaka go out with Ota and Taketa at 11:40 a.m. Monday.

Tuesday's final round tees off at 6:50 a.m.

Chan does well at UCLA

‘Iolani graduate Lorens Chan contributed two wins to UCLA's victory in the inaugural Stanford Classic, an eight-team tournament played Monday and Tuesday at Cypress Point Golf Club on the Monterey (Calif.) Peninsula.

The Bruin freshman was playing in his fourth college event. He was second at San Marcos (Calif.) two weeks ago as an individual, playing 54 holes in 14-under par.

At the Classic, Chan's 4-0 singles win Tuesday helped the Bruins defeat Duke in the final. UCLA won 18 of a possible 24 points.

The Bruins beat Georgia and Texas Monday in the opening rounds. Chan and sophomore Manav Shah beat their Georgia opponents in four-ball, 3.5-0.5. They lost to Texas, 3-1.

Burns Challenge Cup golfers announced

The final 12 who will play on this year's Gov. John A. Burns Challenge Cup amateur team have been announced. Those 12, who were the top point-getters at designated tournaments over the past year, are also eligible to compete for the amateur slot for January's Sony Open in Hawaii.

The list is led by Manoa Cup champion Matt Ma, the top qualifier with 1,475 points. Jared Sawada (1,072.5) was next and state high school champion John Oda finished third (975). University of Hawaii senior Cory Oride (725) was fourth, but can't play because of NCAA regulations. UCLA's Lorens Chan was ninth but is out for the same reason.

The rest of the team is: Tyler Ota, Todd Rego, Rudy Cabalar Jr., Jonathan Ota, Kalena Preus, Skye Inakoshi, Donny Hopoi, Richard Hattori and Isaac Jaffurs. Hawaii golf Hall of Famer Brandan Kop, who has played in the past 32 Governor's Cups, tied for 19th in qualifying and is first alternate.

The honorary amateur captain is Guy Yamamoto. The 40th annual Governor's Cup is Dec. 3-4 at Mid-Pacific Country Club.

The Sony Open qualifier will be Nov. 19 at Waialae Country Club. Ma, Sawada and Oda go out first at 8 a.m.

LOCAL ACES

  Date Course Hole Yards Club
Jackie Swinney Sept. 29 Makaha Valley Country Club 17 168 Driver
Waianae
Steven Kanimoto Oct. 19 Hawaii Kai Championship Course 5 120 9-iron
Honolulu
Lance Golder Oct. 20 Hawaii Country Club 4 204 3-iron
Honolulu
Bryant Arisada Oct. 22 Koolau Golf Club 4 145 8-iron
Hometown n/a
Roy Hisashima Oct. 24 Makalena Golf Course 14 150 8-iron
Kaneohe
Patty Stevens Oct. 25 Kiahuna Golf Club 3 110 5-iron
Koloa
Send aces to sports@staradvertiser.com or fax 529-4787.

 






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