Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023 |
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LIHU‘E — The team of Wade Nishimoto and Kaua‘i’s Ron Castillo Jr. shot a 6-under par 65, Monday, on the Royal Ka‘anapali Course for a two-day total of 12-under 129. That score clinched the win in the two-person (Pro-Pro) better ball tournament.
It all came down to the final two holes, states a release from the Ka‘anapali Golf Resort. The trade winds were light, which allowed for some birdie opportunities on the Royal Course, which is designed to play with trades.
A birdie on No. 17 put Nishimoto and Castillo in the hunt for the trophy, one stroke ahead of the round one leaders, Ben Hongo and Kevin Shimomura, but still one stroke off Andrew Feldmann and Larry Stubblefield, who have a proven track record of wins as a team.
“All day today, we were trailing Feldmann and Stubblefield, who got an early start with a set of birdies on hole No. 1,” Castillo said. “We didn’t really get going until the third and fourth hole — but it all really came down to No. 18.”
Castillo played his driver into the middle of the fairway on 18, a 440-yard par 4 hole with a lagoon that snakes along the entire right side of the hole. Castillo’s playing partner, Nishimoto placed his drive into the fairway, but came up short on his second shot and ended up in the drink.
Feldmann’s drive was just off the left side of the fairway into the rough. He then knocked his approach into the hazard just off the green. Stubblefield ended up in the fairway bunker off his drive and was forced to lay up, only to then knock his third shot into the lagoon as well.
Castillo had his eyes on the pin as he knocked his 4-iron to within 12 feet of the flag.
Feldmann played his shot from the hazard, only to have it roll back into the hazard again, making a tough shot even tougher, as he knew he had to sink his 20 foot putt to force a playoff.
Feldmann came up short and they ended up with a double-bogey. Castillo’s goal was to two-putt for the win.
“I gave myself a little longer second putt then I planned, but I was able to sink it for the par on 18, putting Wade and I one stroke ahead,” he said.
That putt was worth $2,000, split between the two teammates.
This was Nishimoto and Castillo’s first time teamed up together. Nishimoto was coming off an injury but was able to play conservatively, allowing Castillo to be more aggressive.
“The course was in excellent condition, the greens on both courses were fantastic, rolling true,” Nishimoto said.
“I haven’t played here (at Ka’anapali) much lately and with all the new bunkering since renovations, they made me have to really think about different spots I wanted to be landing from the tee,” Castillo said. “I enjoyed the layout of the courses.”
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