RAINBOW WAHINE GOLF
COURTESY OF UH
UH golfer Dale Gammie earned first-team All-WAC honors the past two seasons.
Gammie breaks streak
The UH senior is the first Rainbow Wahine golfer to finish first since Kokx in 1986
DALE Gammie ended one of the longest streaks in Hawaii Rainbow Wahine sports history when she won the Heather Farr Memorial golf tournament in Colorado last week.
It was the first time a Rainbow Wahine had claimed the individual title in a tournament since Bobbi Kokx won the initial Donnis Thompson Invitational in 1986.
Gammie, a senior from Pukalani, Maui, shot a 2-under-par 214 for a five-stroke victory.
She held a two-stroke lead over Portland State's Kayla Morinaga (Sacred Hearts '05) starting the final round.
"I had a little bit of trouble sleeping that night. I woke up and the wind was blasting outside the hotel. I knew it was going to be rough," Gammie said.
She did get off to a rough start with a double bogey on the second hole but was able to keep her poise.
"I told myself to bear down and hunker through this. I also went on to get some pretty solid birdies," Gammie said.
UH coach Ashley Biffle kept tabs on players at the par 3s. She knew Gammie had a three-shot lead after nine holes and had increased it to five strokes with two holes left. Biffle was waiting at the next-to-last hole, a par 3.
"I was just trying to stay calm because we were moving up in the team standings," Biffle said. "The rest of the team could see me getting excited, but when Dale came around, I tried to be calm and not get her excited."
Gammie was the only one of 91 golfers to break par.
"I've been at the top or near the top a few times and come close, but never won," Gammie said. "I was thinking, 'Can I hold it and finish this thing?'
"My last hole was way out. We rode the cart back. The clubhouse is two stories and my teammates and coaches were standing on the balcony yelling and screaming.
"I don't like being told where I'm at (on the leaderboard). I just go out there and play the course and whatever works out, works out. But, Ashley told me the last time she checked, I was ahead by five strokes."
With a shotgun start, all the participants finished soon after Gammie and she knew her five-stroke victory was safe.
The Wahine also passed host Colorado and Fresno State in the final round to finish fourth, one of the team's best showings in a long time.
Biffle quickly smiled when the team finish was mentioned.
"We have come a long way as a team. We definitely have reached a turning point," Biffle said.
"Dale is just a good all-around athlete. She is very competitive and gotten very steady. She knows what it means to be around par and keep it there. She is just now realizing she can win tournaments.
"We've worked on her attitude. She used to get really down on herself on the course. I thought it was a big accomplishment for her to win the tournament after making that double bogey. It shows me she has learned something.
"Dale is the best student-athlete I've ever coached. She really works hard and is dedicated to being the best in everything she does."
Gammie was introduced to golf by her father.
"My dad (Paul) started dragging me out to golf courses when I was about 6. All I was interested in was driving the cart. I didn't start playing competitively until I was 12," Gammie said.
The following year she gave up soccer to concentrate on golf and won four letters competing for St. Anthony despite almost giving up the sport after her junior year.
"I had a rough season and got burnt out. I told my parents I was done. I canceled all my summer tournaments except one, the Junior World qualifying tournament at Makaha, that I couldn't get out of," Gammie said.
She won the 15-17 age division and went to the Junior World tournament in San Diego. Former Wahine coach Marga Stubblefield saw Gammie in the tournament and offered her a scholarship to UH.
"I made the cut but didn't do anything special, except I had my first hole-in-one. That kind of rejuvenated me, and I thought maybe golf wasn't so bad after all," Gammie said.
She will graduate in May with a degree in business. She plans to return to Maui and get involved with her parents in their medical-equipment business.
"I really enjoy golf and the competitiveness, but I'm not all that excited to go one more level up. It is a huge expense and you are not guaranteed a paycheck every week," Gammie said.
A two-year captain, she has been an All-Western Athletic Conference first-team member the last two years after being a second-team pick as a freshman.
She will lead the Wahine next week in the Price's Give 'Em Five Invitational at the New Mexico State campus course, the site of the WAC championships next spring.
This will be her fourth time playing the course where she had a season-best top-five finish a year ago.
Next spring Gammie will try to reach a goal she set with Jerry King, her swing coach on Maui, before she enrolled at UH. That goal is to win the WAC individual title.