Vulcans move on in NCAA golf
Freshman Blake Snyder finished birdie-eagle to lift Hawaii-Hilo into the NCAA Division II men’s golf championship yesterday.
The Vulcans, who won the Pacific West Conference title by one shot, grabbed the fifth and final invitation to the nationals by a shot at the NCAA D-II West/Central Super Regional. They had a final-round 295 at the University of New Mexico Championship Course in Albuquerque.
Cal State Monterey Bay won at 281—855, followed by Sonoma State (857), Fort Lewis (865), Colorado State-Pueblo (866), UHH (876) and Western Washington (877). The top five teams advance to nationals, May 16-20 at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at The Shoals in Florence, Ala.
The Vulcans thought they had finished sixth behind Chico State, but the California school had one of its players disqualified for signing for a wrong score. When the Wildcats had to use an 82, the Vulcans had their first national appearance in five years.
Snyder, one of four UHH freshmen, seized second alone with a final-round 68. The PacWest medalist’s three-day total of 4-under-par 212 was three shots behind regional medalist John Jackson of Monterey Bay.
HPU’s Patton, Nakasone honored
Hawaii Pacific junior Breanne Patton was named pitcher of the year and Bryan Nakasone coach of the year, headlining the All-Pacific West Conference softball team announced yesterday.
Patton (23-2) was one of three Sea Warriors named to the first team. Also named were teammates Kozy Toriano (Kamehameha-Hawaii), a senior outfielder, and junior designated player Maile Kim.
Toriano was also named to the second team as a utility player, joining teammate Melissa Awa (Kamehameha), a sophomore flex.
Hawaii-Hilo’s Amber Waracka (Kamehameha) was named to the first team as a flex. The junior was selected to the second team as a pitcher, along with Vulcans Nicole Alconcel (Baldwin), a junior shortstop, and junior outfielder Bryanna Hardy.
UH seventh at WAC golf
Hawaii’s best round helped it gain a share of seventh yesterday at the Western Athletic Conference championships. UH hosted the tournament at the Rio Secco Golf Club in Henderson, Nev.
The Rainbow Warriors shot 12-over-par 300 in the final round for a 921 total, tying Boise State for seventh in the nine-team tournament. New Mexico State won with a score of 291—875.
Junior TJ Kua closed with a 73 to lead UH at 12-over-par 228. He finished 18th. San Jose State’s Mark Hubbard (69—212) parred the third playoff hole to earn medalist honors over Idaho’s Damian Telles (73—212).
Vulcans finish season with sweep
Keoni Manago’s two-run double highlighted a five-run fifth and Hawaii-Hilo defeated Academy of Art 8-3 in yesterday’s first game of a season-ending PacWest baseball doubleheader at Wong Stadium.
The Vulcans (21-25, 16-16) completed the sweep of the Urban Knights (6-43, 6-26) with a 7-1 victory in the second game. Jonathan James drove in two runs with his two-out single up the middle that capped a four-run fourth.
6 Hawaii courses among greatest
Kapalua’s Plantation Course, where the PGA Tour opens its season every January, and Princeville’s Prince Course, now closed for renovation, are included in Golf Digest’s 2011-12 listing of “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.” Those two and four more from Hawaii also are in the magazine’s listing of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses.”
The game’s oldest and most coveted ranking began in 1966. It comes out every other year and is in this month’s issue.
Augusta National, site of The Masters, is first again among the 100 Greatest. Kapalua Plantation, which wasn’t in the previous Top 100, comes in 88th. The Prince is tied for 97th. The top-ranked public course is again Pebble Beach in California. Plantation is first here and 17th overall, followed by Princeville Prince (19), Mauna Kea (27), Challenge at Manele (37), Wailea Gold (T74) and Turtle Bay Palmer (T81).
Courses are ranked on evaluations of more than 1,000 panelists.
Kitamori to PGA minority event
Hilo’s Valerie Kitamori, a senior at Pacific University in Oregon, will represent her school at the 25th annual PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship. The tournament is tomorrow through Sunday at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla. More than 200 athletes will participate.
Kitamori is one of 13 individuals competing. Her stroke average this season is 82.2 and the Waiakea graduate won the Willamette Invitational and Linfield dual match in March. The first Minority Collegiate Golf Championship was held in 1987 with the goal of elevating the game of golf for minorities. Participating athletes attend a Business of Golf Career Expo tomorrow and can apply for the PGA Minority Collegiate Scholarship.
» Wednesday is the entry deadline for the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship. Hawaii has two qualifiers, May 21 at Poipu Bay on Kauai, and May 28 at Ewa Beach. The championship is June 27 through July 2 in Oregon. Entries are only online this year, at usga.org.
» When Castle High graduate Dean Wilson fired 8-under-par 64 in the second round of the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic last week in New Orleans, he tied the course record at TPC Louisiana. One of those who shares it is Punahou graduate Alex Ching, a University of San Diego junior, who opened with a 64 there last year when he won the Mardi Gras Invitational.