Lorens Chan started eagle-birdie in yesterday’s final round of the David S. Ishii Foundation/HHSAA Boys Golf Championship. No one could catch the ‘Iolani junior the rest of the day at Waikoloa Village Golf Course.
In dramatic contrast, the team title was decided in the final group on the final green.
Punahou could not put away — or pull away — from Moanalua or the Raiders until sophomore Kalena Preus drained a 20-foot birdie putt to give the Buffanblu their third title in four years. Punahou won by one shot over ‘Iolani and two over Na Menehune.
“It was so close you didn’t know where anybody was,” Punahou coach Matt Pakkala said. “You were breathing between every shot.
“The last time I had a feeling like that was … I can’t remember. I was more nervous than when I have a club in my hand. The shots all the kids pulled off were just incredible.”
It is easy to remember when Chan last played like this. He won the state tournament as a freshman, a few months after winning his first Hawaii State Amateur. He just won his second amateur.
This week, Chan opened with a 6-under-par 66 and poured it on yesterday, following with a 67 to win by four shots over Moanalua’s Tyler Ota (67—137) and Preus (70—137).
Chan had just one bogey in two days.
“I started with a one-shot lead and eagled (No.) 1 and birdied (No.) 2,” he recalled. “I kinda knew I had created a cushion, but there were 16 holes left so I couldn’t relax. That did give me a lot of confidence though and maybe it was a little intimidating to the other players. It’s always good to send a message early.”
Ota, a two-time Oahu Interscholastic Association champion, Thayer Schmitz (Saint Louis) and Michael Fan (Kamehameha) were the only seniors in the top 11.
Preus, who also finished second to Chan at this year’s state amateur, birdied two of the last three holes. Senior teammate Brian Lee, who will play for the University of Hawaii in the fall, got up and down for par on the 16th and 17th and two-putted the last hole for birdie. He tied for 12th, while Punahou sophomore Zack Braunthal earned a share of seventh, with defending champion Rudy Cabalar Jr. of Campbell.
Moanalua has won the past five OIA titles and was trying to become the first OIA team to win the state championship since Castle in 1980. Na Menehune tied for second last year with ‘Iolani.