Pono Tokioka of Lihu‘e fired a 73 on Friday to finish fourth overall at the United States Deaf Golf Championships played at The Golf Club at Yankee Trace in Centerville, Ohio.
Beth Tokioka, Pono’s mother, is traveling with the Kaua‘i High School golfer and said in an email, if he finishes within the top six, he qualifies to be on the U.S. team for the Deaf World Championship to be played in Japan in October, 2012.
The U.S. Deaf Golf Championships website states the top eight players in Men, top five players in Women and top five in Seniors will be eligible to participate in 2012 World Deaf Golf Championships to be held Oct. 8 through 12, 2012 at Tsu, Japan.
Pono opened play with a 73 on the 6,650 yard course. His second and third rounds saw him drop to 79 on each round before finishing with a 73 for a four-round total of 304, two strokes ahead of Keith Worek of New York (72-79-75-80-306).
Brandon Babineaux of Texas won with a 286 (72-67-72-75) following a playoff on the first hole with Bill Roberts of Missouri who tied Babineaux at 286 after firing a final-round 70 (70-70-76-70-286). Dano Aldza of Colorado came in third at 299 (78-72-76-73).
Melisa Stockton of Utah topped the women with a 332 (82-81-86-83). Tim Dapp of Maryland topped the Seniors Flight which played to 6,250 yards at 317 (79-82-79-77).
“It has been a really fun week meeting people from all over the county,” Beth said in the email. “Pono is the youngest participant.”
Beth said some of the people she met included Ken Murashige, a nephew of Hiro Murashige of Kaua‘i, who was playing in the senior’s. Murashige, hailing from Arizona finished 14th with a 368 (96-99-90-83).
Gerald Isobe, formerly a golf coach at Punahou High School who lives in Cleveland, finished eighth in the seniors with a 348 (89-79-94-86), just a stroke back of John Michelau of Illinois who ended with a 347.
The Golf Club at Yankee Trace is a premier upscale public golf course in southwestern Ohio, featuring an 18-Hole championship golf course and a 9-Hole Vintage courses along with a 32,000 square foot clubhouse, a complete practice facility, and friendly and professional staff, states the U.S. Deaf Golf website.