‘Lightning’ strikes KIF golfers in Po‘ipu

PO‘IPU — A disqualification, lightning-fast greens and a brisk wind from the south could not deter the KIF golfers Friday at the Kiahuna Golf Course.

In the path of obstacles, an eagle emerged to give Kaua‘i High School a three-stroke 327-330 victory over a tough Kapa‘a challenge.

“The ball disappeared,” said Raymond Toguchi, father of Kapa‘a golfer Travis Toguchi, about Wiley Yoshioka’s eagle at No. 4. “He hit the ball off the fairway and the ball just disappeared.”

Wiley Yoshioka, finishing with the best score in the field at 7-over par, paced the Kaua‘i High School win at 77 (40-37).

The par-70 course quickly claimed its victims as Ross Shimabukuro, athletic director for Kaua‘i High School, noted that less than half of the field could par No. 1.

Add the ongoing construction surrounding the golf course and a disqualification took its toll on a Kaua‘i golfer.

“Cory said the greens were really fast,” said Gail Oride, mother of Kaua‘i golfer Cory Oride. “With the dry conditions making for a fast course and the south winds, the golfers had a tough time out there.”

Oride, who carded the best score last weekend, finished with the second highest Raider score at 81 (42-32). He was followed by Jordan Cox (42-42-84) and Levi Miyashiro (42-43-85).

Kaua‘i High School coach Ipo Yoshioka had predicted the golfers were really going to have to work for this match.

“The course is fairly easy if you stay on the fairways,” Shimabukuro said.

But that was easier said than done as more than one golfer hit the fairway bunker off the No. 1 tee box.

Toguchi was not one of them, and went on to lead the Warriors’ effort with an 80 (39-41), a score that was shared by Jet Levinthol (37-43-80). Bronzen Winters (45-39-84) and Kevin Wataya (44-42-86), tying with Ma‘ilika Laureta (43-43-86), rounded out the Kapa‘a team effort.

Noel Torres (40-41-81) led the Waimea team which finished with a 364 stroke total. He was followed by Markland Soliva (42-46-88), Grant Paiste (49-47-96) and Aaron Medeiros (50-54-99).

Rae-lyn Morikawa of Kaua‘i High School posted the best score for the girls at 81 (40-41), followed by Kapa‘a’s Gabrielle Saiki (43-40-83) and Kristie Rapozo (50-50-100). Waimea’s Leslyn Ibara topped the four Menehune wahine with 107 (55-52).

Trevor Bloom (45-42-87) and Ryan Wong (51-48-99) were the two individualists from Island School. Kula School fielded no golfers for this match.

With the win, Kaua‘i takes a 3-2 lead over Kapa‘a heading into Saturday’s matches at the Wailua Golf Course.

Kaua‘i can clinch the KIF with a win at Wailua. Should Kapa‘a better the Raiders, a 3-3 tie will result in the first of the qualifying matches serving as the tie breaker.

The first group of golfers are scheduled to tee off at 12:24 p.m.

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