Mauians win key titles at U.S. Kids Golf Kaanapali Hawaiian Classic

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After two days of light rain showers threatened to cloud the inaugural U.S. Kids Golf Kaanapali Hawaiian Classic, the sun reared its shining face this morning and cast a brilliant Hawaiian light all day. During the weather’s break, eight of Hawaii’s top juniors battled to win their age divisions and guarantee themselves an invitation to the 2011 World Championship at Pinehurst Resort and the 2011 European Championship in Scotland.

Cassy Isagawa, HHSAA State Golf Champion took home the 1st place trophy for the Girls 15-18 age group, 28 strokes ahead of second place Maggie Min who shot a 75 today on the Royal Course. Cassy is a senior at Baldwin High and will be playing for the University of Oregon next year.

“I want to thank both my parents but especially my dad who caddied for me today. I carried my own bag the last two days so it was special for me to have him on my bag today.”

Cassy’s dad commented, “Cassy played really solid today. She gave herself plenty of opportunities for birdie putts and she was making them today. She made all but two or three greens and her approach shots she put within 8-10 feet of the hole.”

The Boys 15-18 Age Division was more of a battle. Second round leader, Noah Klipstein, and first round leader Kyeton Littel-Kamimoto waged war, with Noah’s fellow Lahainaluna teammate, James Horton close behind.  All three struggled on the first hole. When Klipstein thought his lead over his two competitors was beginning to gel, he faltered on No. 5 and the tables were turned. In the end, Kyeton Littel-Kamimoto was able to hold his lead of four strokes and take home the 1st place trophy.

Kyeton during his winner’s speech said, “I want to thank Dan Van Horn and his family, along with U.S. Kids Golf for hosting this event here at Kaanapali.” He added, “The course was in amazing shape for this event – today I played okay, some ups and downs but still managed to win”

Siblings, David Lee-Tolley (Boys 14) and Soona Lee-Tolley (Girls 8) bring home, to their homes in New York, their Age Division trophies.

One outstanding showing was by David Snyder (Boys 13) of McAllen, TX. David was the only player to play all three rounds under par and finished at -6 for the tournament, 10 strokes ahead of Honolulu player, Jingo Son. David made three birdies and an eagle on No. 10 today to post a 71 for the day (-1).

Ian Fritz (Boys 6) of Las Vegas held onto this 2-day lead and posted a final round 39 today (par 36) to finish just four over par. Darren Choi of North York, Canada moved up the ranks after posting  -2 for the , eagling his last hole, a par 4.

Honolulu player, Turin Fezzan was another player to hold onto his large lead after the final round for the Boys Age 7 Division. Fezzan birdied two holes during his round and played consistently throughout the tournament (36-40-37).

Scott Rodent of Dallas, TX (Age 8) and Tyler Lipscomb of Carrollton, GA (Age 9) took home the trophy for their divisions. Lipscomb made four birdies on the Kaanapali Kai Course today and shot two under par (70) for the day.

The Boys Age 11 Division saw the most shifting in rankings after today’s third and final round.  Justin Ngan of Kahului, HI posted a one over 73 to outmatch Andrew Chin (Honolulu, HI) and JJ Greco (Scottsdale) by one. Karim Richani of San Jose, CA was the first and second round leader, but unfortunately had a hard time today on the Royal Course and posted an 83 to fall back to 6th place.

Eagles abound today, with Boys 12 winner, Everton Hawkins of Irvine, CA posting one on the par four 9th holes.  These guys make it almost look too easy!

Ed Kageyama, PGA General Manager of Kaanapali Golf Courses comments “It is really exciting for us to bring the U.S. Kids Regional Event to Kaanapali – for the Hawaii kids to be able to play with kids from all over the world is a great experience and for them to be able to qualify for the World Championship at Pinehurst is incredible.” Kageyama added, “This type of tournament really helps junior golfers from Hawaii and abroad to gain exposure through other world events and as well as access to potential college scholarships, which is huge.”

Five girls from Hawaii won their age division: Aneka Seumanutafa (Girls 10) of Kapolei had a pair of birdies and an eagle on #13, par 7 stretching 319 yards.  Aneka finished two strokes ahead of Danville, CA player, Ty Akabane.

Twelve year old, Zoey Akagi-Bustin posted a 77 today to finish in 1st place, nine strokes ahead of Kahului player, Kristeena Locke.  Zoey posted two birdies on the back nine today.

Kirsten Ishikawa (Girls 13) of Makawao, HI thanked “her fellow competitors and all the volunteers who helped to make this event possible” during her awards speech.  Kahului player, Kimberlie Miyamoto (Girls 14) will also be representing Hawaii in the 2011 World Championship at Pinehurst Resort and the 2011 European Championship in Scotland. Isagawa is the fifth Girl from Hawaii to represent.

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