Lahaina, Maui, HI – After several days of wind and rain on Maui, the skies cleared today for the first round of the 2017 HHSAA David S. Ishii Foundation Girls Golf Championship on the Royal Ka’anapali Course. The Royal Course proved to be a challenge with no competitors under par (71) after 18 holes. Maui High’s Reese Guzman and Iolani’s Kamie Hamada are T1 at 75 (+4) after today’s round, with Team Iolani (232) leading by 10 strokes ahead of defending champions, Punahou (242).
Guzman, a sophomore at Maui High School was the only one to make it to the State Tournament from her team. “I played a really solid round today, I just had one blow up hole on #17,” Guzman commented. Adding, “I don’t really know what happened on that hole, overall my driving was really solid all day – I only missed one fairway. I was surprised to see the scores actually, I had no idea I was in the lead at one point and then T1 until after the round.” In regards to tomorrow Guzman said, “The Royal Course is pretty hard, especially when the wind kicks up – my goal for tomorrow’s round is just to play my game – with that course, you have to play smart and where you position your ball (on the green) is really important. I know that if I just play my game I’ll do fine.”
Tied for first with Guzman is Iolani’s junior, Kamie Hamada who stated, “My strength today was definitely my putting – the greens were really fast, but I was able to hit a lot of them and give myself some chances (for birdie).” Hamada hit it into the fairway bunker on #10 today and her approach shot landed her ball on the back of the green. She commented, “I had a little over 60 feet to the hole and a tough downhill, right to left putt – I thought the ball was going to roll off the green actually but it hit the hole and went in for birdie.”
Along with Hamada, Iolani teammates Kristin Miyagi (+7) and Naomi Wong (+8) combined for the Team 232 for the day. Iolani won the 2017 Team ILH division. Assistant Coach and Iolani alumnus Marissa Chow, who knows a thing or two about winning as a team at States (2012), is assisting the Iolani team this year and said she’s very proud of the girls. Head Coach Kevin Ing commented on this team, “We really have a great group of girls – even those that didn’t qualify for States – they sincerely get along with each other and really work hard together.” He added, “We told them just to focus on their game tomorrow – go out and do what they do best, play against the course, don’t worry about others and finish strong - play as a team and have fun.”
Iolani is 10 strokes ahead of rival Punahou, whose team has won the last 9 of 10 HHSAA Girls State Championships (all but 2012). Mid Pac is only one stroke behind Punahou at 243 so it is still anybody’s game going into the final round tomorrow at Ka’anapali. Mid Pac’s Myah McDonald led her team today with a 78 (+7) and is T5 with Kristin Miyagi of Iolani.
Punahou’s junior Claire Choi and Kaiser’s junior Malia Nam are T3 after todays round at 76 (+5). Choi stated, “I played okay on the front nine but had a tougher time on the back nine and made a few mistakes. My putting was my pretty solid today, I had a hard time on the 16th hole, but stuck an 8-footer on 17, allowing me to regain my confidence.” About the Punahou team, “We’re a pretty young team this year, but we still can come back tomorrow and have a chance.” Malia Nam who last played Ka’anapali in the U.S. Women’s Open Qualifier (2016) played a solid round today and struggled a bit on the last few holes, along with the majority of the rest of the field. Nam stated “ I hit my driver really well today, I only missed one fairway and I was able to make a few good up and downs.”
Lori Char (Kamehameha Schools – Kapalama) holed out for eagle on #10 today from 148 yards out. Char finished today at 79 (+8) and is currently T7 going into tomorrow’s final round. Char is a senior at KS and will be playing for Rutgers golf team next fall. Also T7 is Naomi Wong (Iolani), Kaley Ann Saludares (Waiakea), and Isabelle Won (Punahou).
For a full list of individual and team results from today, visit http://bit.ly/2qu6zfO
. The second and final round will be held on Tuesday on the Royal Ka’anapali Course with tee times starting at 6:45am.
HISTORY OF THE DAVID S. ISHII FOUNDATION:
In 1996, after 40 years of state Department of Education sponsorship, the Hawaii High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) became a private, non-profit corporation. State money, the bulk of the association’s funding up to that point, was cut to zero. Private sponsors were needed to underwrite the cost of staging both the boys and girls state golf championships.
This potentially dire situation did not escape the notice of Hawaii Hall of Fame golfer David S. Ishii. David – himself the 1973 state champion from Kauai High School – stepped up and committed his own funds to serve as the title sponsor of the event in 1997 and continued to personally sponsor the event for several more years.
Encouraged by his wife Lorraine and assisted by his many friends, David laid the groundwork to establish a foundation that would ensure support for the HHSAA tournament in perpetuity. Beyond that, he envisioned a foundation that could also offer college scholarships, sponsor clinics, and provide learning opportunities for Hawaii’s youth using golf as a means of imparting important life lessons.
The David S. Ishii Foundation was officially founded in 1999 and has more than fulfilled the vision that its founder held for it. Today, the Foundation sponsors the annual HHSAA State Golf Championships for both boys and girls, awards two $4,000 college scholarships to graduating seniors each year, offers travel stipends to the Boys U.S. Junior Amateur and presents workshops and clinics.
For more information about the foundation, visit www.davidsishiifoundation.org
ABOUT KA’ANAPALI GOLF COURSES:
The Royal Ka’anapali Course, a Robert Trent Jones Senior design, opened in 1962 and has tested the skills of golf professionals and amateurs alike. A Par 71 stretching 6700 yards, the Royal Course combines wide fairways and undulating greens, making it both distinctive and demanding. Home of the Champions Tour Ka’anapali Classic for 14 years, the Royal Ka’anapali Course also hosted Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf, the Canada Cup and LPGA Kemper Open, donning such golfing greats as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, Fred Couples, Jan Stephenson and Betsey King.
The Ka’anapali Kai Course is a Par 70, 6,400-yard course and boasts an array of strategically placed bunkers, contoured fairways, and re-shaped and resurfaced greens. This course, host of Golf Channel’s #1 series Big Break Ka'anapali, is a challenge to play and places a premium on strategy off the tee, accuracy with approach shots, and a deft touch around the greens.
In 2005-2007, Ka’anapali Golf Courses invested over $13 million in renovations and infrastructure. Golf course architect, Robin Nelson, was brought in to oversee the rework of the Ka’anapali Kai Course and enhancements to the championship Royal Ka’anapali Course. Ka’anapali recently celebrated 50 years (1962-2012) and was host of the Champions Tour SKIN GAME January 2008-2011.
For more information about Ka’anapali Golf Courses visit www.kaanapaligolfcourses.com
or call (808) 661-3691. Instagram @kaanapaligolf and www.facebook.com/kaanapaligolf