2018 Kāʻanapali HSJGA Match Play Results: Day 1
Hawaiʻi’s top 39 junior golfers are competing in the annual Kāʻanapali HSJGA Match Play Championship on the Kāʻanapali Kai Course in West Maui.
Maui’s hot and humid weather took a toll on several players during the second round of play, but there were no real surprises in the leaderboard for today’s semi-final (Girls 13-18; Boys 15-18) and final (Boys 13-14) rounds. Today’s matches begin at 7 a.m., with the Boys older division and Girls final matches beginning at 12 p.m.
In the Boys 13-14 Division, Honolulu’s Marshal Kim had a BYE in the first round and then defeated Anson Cabello (Kahului) 6Up in the semi-finals. Anson had defeated Lahaina’s Ian Chapital in 19 grueling holes in the quarter finals. Joshua Hayashida of Mililani defeated Puniawa Vedder of Haʻikū 4&3 in the quarter-final and then defeated Ben Cafferio of Wailuku 6&5 in the second round today. The Boys 13-14 Division played from 6,010 yards.
After Hayashida’s round, he commented, “I was just trying to stay relaxed today and not pressure out.”
Hayashida continued, ”On the par 5, 12th hole (against Cafferio), I had a great drive with about 250 yards to the pin and I hit my approach to about a foot and a half, making the putt for eagle.” The 13th and final hole for the match, Hayashida had a nice drive and his approach landed only about two feet from the hole.
“I remember thinking my motivation was that I just wanted to make this putt so I could go home – I was super tired” said Hayashida. He concluded, “The green speeds were really nice, I was able to make some good birdies out there today – tomorrow my goal is to keep it in the fairway and make most of the greens again to give myself some birdie opportunities.”
In the Girls 13-18 Division, #1 seed Honolulu’s Kyung Eun Lee defeated Lahaina’s Ariya Soldwisch 6&5 in the first round and Honolulu’s Rachael Wang 5&4 in the quarter-final.
Eun Lee commented about her strategy for Match Play, “My goal was to get a good rest last night and not stress, stay positive and make a lot of birdies.” Kyung birdied the 13th hole in her first match with Soldwisch to give her some extra confidence heading into her second round. Kyung added, “On the short par 4, 9th hole with Rachael, I actually hit my drive into the left bunker, but then I was able to get out and land the ball about 10 feet from the hole and make the putt.”
Wailuku’s Lana Calibuso-Kwee also made it into the semi-final round. She defeated Wailuku’s Payten Shimizu 5&4 in the first round and then Makawao’s Jaelin Ishikawa 4&3 in the afternoon. “I’ve actually played against Jaelin the last three years in this tournament,” Calibuso-Kwee laughed. She continued, “I tried not to think about the other person I was competing against though today because I can’t control what they are doing, I just needed to focus on my game and go for the hole.”
“On the par 5, 8th hole, I was able to get on in three and then make an 8-foot putt for birdie. On the 15th (and would be final hole of the second match, I had about 117 yards to the pin and I had a lot of confidence, so I choked up on a 9-iron and went for it. I had only about an 8-10 foot putt and made it for birdie,” she said. Jaelin would par the hole and the match ended 4&3.
Karissa Kilby of Honolulu and Myah McDonald of Kaneʻohe also advanced to the semi-final round and teed off at 7:20 a.m. Girls play the Kai Course from 6,010 yards.
The Boys 15-18 Division quarter final matches were fairly close, with matches going at least 15 holes. Pearl City’s Noah Koshi and Honolulu’s Jonathan Morikawa will pair up at 7:10 a.m. in the first semi-final match. Alex Kam and Peter Jung, both of Honolulu also pair up at the same time for their semi-final match. The boys in this division play from 6,388 yards on the Kai Course.
Alex Kam, a senior at Hawaiʻi Baptist Academy said, “This is my first time playing in Kāʻanapali’s Match Play and my strategy was to get off the course as fast as I could – I knew it was going to be tough conditions playing 36 holes today and hopefully another 36 holes tomorrow which is a lot of golf.”
In the first match with Pierce Dowd of Kīhei, Kam made a great 20 foot putt for birdie on the 4th hole and Pierce 2-putt for par. “That was a really good confidence booster for me and helped set the tone for the next hole,” said Kam.
Kam and Pierce both had about 18-20 foot putts for birdie on the par 5, 5th hole. Pierce 2-putt for par and Kam actually putted past the hole, but because of the uphill slope, the ball then rolled back right into the hole, putting Kam at 5Up through 5 holes. Kam would win that match with Pierce 6&5.
In Kam’s second match with Honolulu’s Davis Lee the two of them had very consistent play from tee to green. On the par 5, 15th hole Lee and Kam both had solid drives and hit their woods to within 30-40 yards. Kam first chipped up to about 15 feet and Lee put himself to about 18-20 feet from the pin.
Lee missed the putt only by one foot and Kam gave him the next. Kam then knew exactly the break in his putt because he had a similar angle in his prior match with Pierce just earlier the day. Kam made the birdie putt and would then win 4&2.
Today’s semi-final and final rounds began at 7 a.m. and 12 p.m. on the Kāʻanapali Kai Course.