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Inside Hawaii Golf - Tournament Golf

"The Pulse of Competitive Golf in the Aloha State"


Hilo Invitational Golf Tournament, 2012

Hilo Municipal Golf Course - February 25 & 26

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With weather that usually curbs outdoor activities, contestants in the Hilo Invitational were forced to play a soggy Hilo Municipal Golf Course.

 

As persistent rain fell over Hilo, tournament officials were forced to shorten the championship for the first time in 15 years. All one hundred and eleven golfers teed off early Sunday morning and nearly eight and a half hours later, the champions were crowned. Yes, 8+ hours.

 

After scores were tallied up through regulation play, there was a three-way tie in the professional division as well as a tie for the amateur title. Professionals Jarett Hamamoto, Nick Mason and Ryan Michimoto all tied with 2-under (69) totals while Matt Ma and Ciera Min finished with 1-under par (70).

 

Pictured top left to right; Tournament Co-Chair Lance Taketa, 2012 Champion Nick Mason and Tournament Co-Chair Kevin Hayashi. Pictured below left to right; Tournament Co-Chair Lance Taketa, 2012 Low Amateur Matthew Ma and Tournament Co-Chair Kevin Hayashi.

 

In the playoff, Mason, a three-time winner of the Hilo Invitational, needed two extra holes to claim his fourth title. With Michimoto, a professional from Kapalua Plantation Course failing to make birdie, the two former champions moved on to the par-three 2nd.

 

“It’s so hard when you are playing against your friend”, said Mason. “I’ve known JT for so long. When you get into these situations, it’s so tough, especially he being so nice and all.”

 

A par putt that barely slipped in on Hamamoto’s part was the difference as Mason now adds the 2012 title to his collection of Hilo Invitational championships.

 

Mason will receive five-thousand dollars with the win out of the fifteen-thousand dollar professional purse. In his acceptance speech, Mason generously donated a portion of his winnings back to the Big Island Junior Golf Association.

 

The amateur playoff between Oahu’s Matt Ma and Hilo’s Ciera Min was anything but ordinary. Both golfers ended their rounds with 1-under (70). And both needed a record six playoff holes to decide a winner, which beat the current playoff record back in 1998. That was the inaugural Hilo Invitational which was won by professional David Ishii. It took Ishii five extra holes to dispatch of former Waiakea high school standout Mike Pavao.

 

The match-up between Ma and Min “seemed like David and Goliath”, said Ma. “I am not known for my accuracy off the tee.”  He is known for the length in his drives.

 

On the first extra hole, Ma was immediately being pressured by Min. “I bombed a drive out there and only had 195 yards on the par-5. She (Min) lays up short of the ditch and pitches it to 15 feet.”

 

Ma hit a 6-iron that missed the green but hit a decent chip to a few feet. That is when Min drained her fifteen-footer for birdie and the challenge was on.

 

After routine pars on the second and third hole, Ma certainly looks to be in the driver’s seat with only a 118 yards left on his second shot. With a gap wedge in his hand and Min swinging a fairway wood, he liked his chances—until he misses the green on the short side and Min chips it to 3 feet to save par.

 

“The long ball is definitely overrated”, Ma said. “Ciera has really gotten better. I golfed with her two or three years ago and she is much stronger and sharper with her short game. And she is accurate off the tee.”

Min really put the hammer down on the par-four 5th hole. After Ma boomed a drive, he was only left with 79 yards to the green. Min played first and stuffed it in there really close. “I think she hit it to like seven or eight feet”, said Ma. “I was shooting the flag to see how close she was and boy…she was close.”

 

Ma answered with a gem of his own as the former Oregon Duck stuck one just inside Min’s approach. But Min’s putting was solid as she nailed the birdie, forcing Ma to dig deep.

 

“I swear, as soon as she made that putt, my 6-footer turned into a 15-footer. I mean she had the honors from the start of the playoff and she kept hitting quality shots.”

 

But the long ball would finally deliver as Ma was left with a 3 iron for his second shot on the par-five. After laying up on her second shot, Min hit her third and fourth shots a little heavy and that’s all Ma needed to seal the deal.

 

“Ciera is on the right track. If she keeps doing what she is doing, she will do fine. Keep working hard on your game because golf is very tough”, Ma said about Min. “It is great to see how women’s golf is taking off. It is a testament of how far the junior golf program has come, especially here in Hilo. It is such a strong program.”

 

Both champions spoke of how winning in challenging conditions have been a big part in their success and other golfers can actually learn from that. “I have played here in Hilo in rain and played across the nation in some nasty weather”, said Mason. “You learn to keep your focus and deal with it. Coming to Hilo is always special. The weather can get like this and you need to be mentally prepared for it.”

 

Ma echoed the same sentiments. “When I was in Oregon, I played in weather like this all the time—except it was colder. If there is anything I learned from playing in college, you have no idea what it’s like to have a second dry towel when you’re soaked.”

 

With his victory, Ma pockets a $750 gift certificate.

 

Story submitted by Lee Hardy


 

        Round 1  
Rank Last Name, First Name   +/- front back total
1 Mason, Nick (P)* -2 36 33 69
  Hamamoto, Jarett (P) -2 35 34 69
  Michimoto, Ryan (P) -2 38 31 69
4 Ma, Matthew (A)** -1 37 33 70
  Min, Ciera (A) -1 35 35 70
  Shishido, Spencer (P) -1 35 35 70
7 Hayashi, Kevin (P) 0 37 34 71
  Ishii, David (P) 0 36 35 71
  Negishi, Taisei (A) 0 35 36 71
  Yamauchi, Dalen (A) 0 35 36 71
11 Agosto, Christian (A) 1 36 36 72
  Ferry, Jeff (P) 1 36 36 72
  Hall, Jamie (A) 1 37 35 72
14 Asao, Kellen-Floyd (P) 2 37 36 73
  Keiter, Chris (P) 2 35 38 73
  Kozuma, Corey (A) 2 37 36 73
  Matsushima, Nick (A) 2 39 34 73
  Oakley, J.J. (A) 2 37 36 73
  Rego, Todd (A) 2 35 38 73
  Russell, Travis (A) 2 35 38 73
  Snyder, Blake (A) 2 35 38 73
  Taketa, Lance (P) 2 37 36 73
23 Acosta, Ryan (P) 3 36 38 74
  Bascuk, John (P) 3 38 36 74
  Belveal, Jake (P) 3 36 38 74
  Carll, Kevin (P) 3 39 35 74
  Igawa, Chris (A) 3 35 39 74
  Jaffurs, Isaac (A) 3 35 39 74
  Littel-Kamimoto, Kyeton (A) 3 38 36 74
  Low, Jacob (P) 3 36 38 74
  Maekawa, Sean (P) 3 38 36 74
  Nishimoto, Dan (P) 3 38 36 74
  Okamura, Garrett (P) 3 38 36 74
  Sakugawa, Lee (P) 3 36 38 74
  Shimomura, Chris (A) 3 37 37 74
  Shimomura, Kevin (P) 3 37 37 74
  Veriato, Steve (P) 3 37 37 74
38 Amuro, Clayton (A) 4 38 37 75
  Eichelberger, Dave (P) 4 38 37 75
  Garcia, Mike (A) 4 35 40 75
  Nakama, Casey (P) 4 37 38 75
42 Otake, Ty (P) 5 39 37 76
43 Hayashi, Kyle (P) 6 40 37 77
  Hunt, Tysen (P) 6 35 42 77
  Ishimine, Keoho (P) 6 40 37 77
  Kim, David (P) 6 39 38 77
  Larson, Hunter (P) 6 38 39 77
  Ngan, Justin (A) 6 41 36 77
  Ota, Tyler (A) 6 34 43 77
50 Dias, Kelii (A) 7 38 40 78
  Kaaihue, Kala (A) 7 41 37 78
  Kegel, Clive (A) 7 40 38 78
  Liverett, Mike (P) 7 37 41 78
  Ono, Gregory (P) 7 42 36 78
  Tadeo, Joey (P) 7 42 36 78
  Taise, Jay (P) 7 42 36 78
  Torngren, Collin (A) 7 37 41 78
58 Ching, Preston (A) 8 40 39 79
  Fujimoto, Blaine (A) 8 38 41 79
  Hashiro, Colin (A) 8 43 36 79
  Prince, Dean (P) 8 41 38 79
  Stark, Rohn (P) 8 40 39 79
  Stubblefield, Larry (P) 8 41 38 79
  Thorogood, Dane (A) 8 39 40 79
  Winchester, Stephen (A) 8 42 37 79
  Yagi, Darryl (A) 8 41 38 79
67 Hardy, Lee (P) 9 39 41 80
  McCauley, Shawn (P) 9 42 38 80
  Yanagi, Nani (A) 9 42 38 80
70 Bonk, Burt (P) 10 42 39 81
  Guillot, Geoffrey (A) 10 43 38 81
  Kawate, Mike (A) 10 38 43 81
  Kinder, Lon (P) 10 42 39 81
  Lloyd, Ryan Kalani (A) 10 37 44 81
  Nakamoto, Mitsuo (P) 10 40 41 81
  Paiva, Russell (A) 10 41 40 81
  Tamura, Casey (A) 10 41 40 81
78 Anamizu, Phil (A) 11 43 39 82
  Lu, Shawn (A) 11 44 38 82
  Malson, Laine (A) 11 42 40 82
  Roosendaal, Wesley (A) 11 42 40 82
  Shimizu, Seril (A) 11 40 42 82
83 Bartholomew, Jay (A) 12 40 43 83
  Furutani, Brett (A) 12 41 42 83
  Hirata, Trevor (A) 12 43 40 83
  Katahira, Shon (A) 12 40 43 83
  Mitsutani, Ross (P) 12 41 42 83
  Miyamoto, Kimberlie (A) 12 41 42 83
  Munetake, Tyler (A) 12 42 41 83
  Yagi, Davin (A) 12 43 40 83
91 Chong, Ryley (A) 13 43 41 84
  Rice, Peter (A) 13 41 43 84
93 Akiona, Deron (A) 15 44 42 86
  Iida, Jinsoo (A) 15 42 44 86
  Yamamoto, Ric (A) 15 40 46 86
96 Ishibashi, Kris (A) 16 43 44 87
  Tengan, Kyle (A) 16 43 44 87
  Ward, Keoni (A) 16 46 41 87
99 Harman, John (P) 17 47 41 88
  Murphy, Steve (P) 17 47 41 88
101 Fujii, Galvin (A) 18 41 48 89
  Idica, Nathaniel (A) 18 43 46 89
  Smith, Brett (A) 18 45 44 89
104 Duituturaga, Tevita (A) 19 40 50 90
  Erdogan, Taner (A) 19 44 46 90
  Garcia, Alan (A) 19 46 44 90
  Trevathan, JT (A) 19 45 45 90
108 Manalili, Herman (P) 20 49 42 91
109 Iida, Coby (A) 27 51 47 98
110 Stringer, Billy (A) 28 48 51 99
111 Guenther, Norm (P)       WD

 

*won on 2nd playoff hole

**won low amateur honors on the 6th playoff hole.


 

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