WAILUA — Ike Tydingco of Kapa‘a is only 8 years old, and participated in the Hawai‘i State Junior Golf Association All Ages-Kaua‘i last weekend at Wailua Golf Course.
“Yes, he’s just 8 years old,” said Ken Miyata, a director with the Kaua‘i Junior Golf Association. “He had a chance to play up. He’s actually playing two brackets up. It’s good experience for him to see how he can hold up against more-experienced golfers.”
Tydingco was not alone, as Linken Tanabe of Mililani, O‘ahu was also playing up, and Mia Nakaoka, also of Mililani, was playing up a bracket against her older sister, Kate Nakaoka, who captured the girls 13-14 flight with a 13-over, 36-hole total of 157 during the first tournament of 2021 presented by the HSJGA.
Her sister Mia finished second in the flight with a two-day 182 (89-93) to tie Kiara Johnson of Lihu‘e (91-91-182).
Tydingco struggled through the rounds, not getting sufficient lift on the ball. He finished third in the boys 13-14 flight with a two-day 234 (116-18). Seung Min Ham of Honolulu towered over the two young players to capture the flight with a 168 (88-80). Tanabe, despite overshooting the ninth green, came back with a day’s 88, a stroke better than his opening round 89, finishing at 177.
Niki Upson of Princeville was the sole high-school senior in the boys 15-18 flight, finishing fourth overall with a two-day 177 (86-91) in the flight that was taken by Marshall Kim Jr. of Honolulu, who carded a 6-over 78 on his final round en route to a 159 (81-78).
Dysen Park of Hilo settled in second after leading the flight with a 7-over 79 in the opening round, but lost four strokes during the final round. He finished with a 162 (79-83), followed by Justin Todd of Kane‘ohe taking third, two strokes back of Park.
Kaua‘i High senior Jessica Hreljac finished seventh in the largest flight, girls 15-18, ending with a two-day 188 (91-97). Kara Kaneshiro of Honolulu (78-79-157) topped the flight, two strokes better than Ashley Koga, also of Honolulu, who finished with a 159 (78-81). Another two strokes separated the two-way tie for third between Honolulu golfers Teal Matsueda (82-79—161) and Ye Won Ham (81-80—161).
The HSJGA, also closing its fundraising auction including the Raise the Paddle, and Fund-A-Program over the weekend, next hosts the HSJGA All Ages-Maui tournament on May 22 and 23 at Wailea Golf Club.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.