KIF hosts state golf tourney starting Monday

LIHUE — Kapaa golfer Samantha Coloma, consistently leading the Warrior wahine through the Kauai Interscholastic Federation golf season, will be in the first group which tees off at 7 a.m. Monday at the Wailua Golf Course when the David S. Ishii Hawaii High School Athletic Association launches its 2016 golf championships.

The girls will be teeing from from the No. 1 and No. 10 holes for the 36-hole tournament which will play Monday and Tuesday.

The boys will be doing practice rounds starting Tuesday, coordinated by the host Kauai Interscholastic Federation. The boys field takes to the tee boxes on Wednesday and Thursday.

Joining Coloma on the course, Waimea High School’s Samantha Nichols tees off from No. 1 at 7:09 a.m. followed by Kauai High School’s Taryn Taguma going off at 7:18 a.m.

Scoring format for the girls teams will see four players participating with the top three best scores being taken. For the boys’ tournament, The International Plan of five players participating and taking the four best scores of each day will be used.

The KIF will be represented by the Kauai girls in the team scoring, and has Coloma and Nichols taking the field as individualists. This represents three of the five member schools in the KIF.

“We are lucky to have the Kauai Christian Academy as part of the KIF,” said Kauai boys coach Alton Amimoto on Friday afternoon. “Increasing the KIF membership to five allows us more berths into the state tournament. And this year, in addition to the Kauai girls team — the reigning KIF champions — we have golfers from Kapaa and Waimea.”

On the boys field which take off starting Wednesday, Kauai High School’s boys scoring team, the KIF champions, will be joined by Reese Valencia of Island School, Kainalu Gandia of Kapaa High School, and two other Kauai players who earned the four spots based on the 36-hole qualifying rounds which concluded last week.

“The boys are practicing hard,” Amimoto said. “Of course, we’re at Wailua Golf Course.”

David S. Ishii, a 1973 state champion from Kauai High School, stepped into the state golf picture in 1996 when, following 40 years of state Department of Education sponsorship, the HHSAA became a private nonprofit corporation.

State money was cut to zero, and private sponsors were needed to underwrite the cost of staging both the boys and girls state golf championships.

Ishii stepped up and committed his own funds to serve as the title sponsor of the event in 1997. He continued to sponsor the event for several more years. With the encouragement of his wife Lorrain, and his family, he laid the groundwork to establish a foundation that would ensure support for the HHSAA tournament in perpetuity.

Additionally, Ishii envisioned a foundation which could also offer college scholarships, sponsor clinics, and provide learning opportunities for Hawaii’s youth using golf as a means of imparting important life lessons.

Live scoring for both the girls and boys tournament is available provided by the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association.

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