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'Iolani golfer wins for mom


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POSTED: Thursday, April 23, 2009

She heard poetry in the winds cascading along the slopes and links of Kapolei Golf Club.

Spectators weren't allowed on the course, but Marissa Chow could hear every word of her mother, Lynne, on a cool, overcast afternoon. As the 'Iolani freshman arrived at the final hole of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu girls golf championship, the singsong rhymes of her mom returned again.

When it's breezy, swing easy.

Chow took those words to heart and closed out the second day of the tourney with a 74, finishing at 1-under-par 143. Her mom, Lynne, was there in spirit. Lynne died in January after 13 years with breast cancer.

They were golf partners, best friends making up zany one-liners, more so from a mom teaching her only daughter the nuances of the game.

When it's breezy, swing easy.

The golf part was textbook strategy: keep the ball in the middle, trust the putter. Celebrating without mom—that wasn't easy.

"She taught me everything, all her sayings," Marissa said. "I knew she wanted me to do this. This is just for her."

Chow finished three strokes ahead of Punahou sophomore Alina Ching. She also overcame plantar fasciitis in both feet, as well as a sore Achilles' tendon.

"She's a tough girl," coach Glenn Inouye said.

Alika Bell of Kamehameha and David Fink of 'Iolani both carded 66s in the first round on Monday at Oahu Country Club, but Bell's putter stayed true yesterday. Bell finished with a 3-under 69 to finish five strokes ahead of Fink and Lorens Chan of 'Iolani.

"Just relied on hitting it in the fairway so I could use wedges instead of 7-irons," Bell said.

His favorite wedge? A 40-year-old John Riley model inherited from his grandfather, Alexander "Blackie" Bell.