WAILUA — Kauai High School golf coach Alton Amimoto said Trevor Kua loves his new putter Saturday at the Wailua Golf Course.
“This is the first time he’s playing with his new putter,” Amimoto said. “So far, he’s made all his putts but one. I don’t know if that’s because of the putter, or not. Sometimes, when you get something new, it just makes you focus more on what you’re doing. Whatever it is, it’s working.”
The new putter catapulted Kua to finish at the top of the field with a 1-under 71(34-71) at the Wailua Golf Course during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation, Match No. 5. Kua’s putter also helped him to cross at 2-under 34 after picking up birdies on Nos. 1, 5, 8, and 9. But he was hit by bogeys on Nos. 4 and 7 for the under-par crossing. Kua’s performance was the first under-par score in this year’s KIF golf season for any golfer.
Kua’s performance led the Kauai High School team scoring that finished at 307 followed by Kapaa High School who got a 361 led by Kainalu Gandia’s 78 (40-38), and Waimea rounding out the team scoring at 443 led by Hunter Ragasa’s 106 (53-53) and James Caudill’s 107 (52-55).
Christopher Ishikawa (61-51-112) and Braden Kobayashi (57-61-118) completed the Menehune scorecard.
“Everyone thought we had the lead in the KIF,” Amimoto said. “But the truth is that we were a couple of points behind. We needed the win to clinch the KIF golf title.”
The Red Raider boys did not falter as Kua was joined by Jacob Viquelia (40-37-77), Christian Ganir (40-39-79), Kanoa Nii (43-37-80), and Keith Jose (43-38-81) to complete its scorecard which clinches the KIF title.
Following Gandia’s lead, Kapaa scoring golfer included Kekoa Eisenhour (44-45-89), Micah Barretto (53-43-96), Leslee Aki (48-50-98) and Dylan DeSilva (50-51-101).
On the girls’ course, Waimea’s Samantha Nichols continued to set the pace for the wahine, firing the best score at 82 (44-38).
Kauai’s Taryn Taguma finished two strokes back at 84 (41-43) to lead the Red Raider wahine to its title clinching score of 275. Helping the effort, Dillyn Sakai finished with 93 (47-46), Kiri Oshiro carded a 98 (48-50) and Tyra Oshiro finished at 104 (53-51).
Waimea girls finished second in the team scoring at 299 with Nichols setting the pace. Following her lead, Bailee Taeza finished at 105 (53-52), Daneica Muraoka ended at 112 (55-57) and Kelsey Tomimoto rounded out the effort at 117 (62-55).
Kapaa finished with 360 led by Samantha Coloma (51-50-101), Sophia Rodriguez (64-65-129) and Alicia Hayakawa (64-66-130).
On the individualist lineup, Island School’s Reece Valencia finished seventh overall among the boys at 80 (38-42), a tie with Kanoa Nii.
KIF golf concludes its regular season Saturday when Match No. 6 tees off at the Wailua Golf Course starting at noon.
The state qualifying rounds will take place at the Wailua Golf Course on April 22 and 23 with the girls hosting the David S. Ishii Hawaii High School Athletic Association Girls 2016 Championships at the Wailua Golf Course, May 2 and 3. The boys play for the state titles on May 4 and 5.