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Merkle takes early lead


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POSTED: Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Moanalua's Kristina Merkle opened defense of her HHSAA/David Ishii Girls Golf Championship with a 2-over-par 73 yesterday, taking the lead by one stroke over three others.

Merkle trailed Baldwin's Cassy Isagawa by six strokes at the turn after shooting a 39 on the front nine at the Royal Kaanapali Golf Course on Maui but recovered with a 34 on the back. Isagawa shot a 33 on the front and came in with a 41 to trail Merkle by a stroke.

Punahou's Alina Ching and Kauai's Kelli Oride shot 74s to stay with Isagawa.

Merkle, Ching and Isagawa tee off in the final round at 11:03 this morning.

Nani Yanagi of Waiakea is two strokes back after shooting a 75. ILH champion Marissa Chow of 'Iolani shot a 78.

Punahou leads the team scoring by four strokes over Baldwin with Cyd Okino (77), Michelle Condrey (78) and Anna Jang (79) joining Ching in the top 10.

Waiakea is in third, seven strokes away from Punahou.

Merkle won the title last year by a stroke over Jang and Britney Yada of Waiakea. Yada shot a 79 yesterday. Punahou has won the last two team titles.