Saturday, May 8, 1999

H A W A I I _ P R E P _ G O L F

Kauai’s Matsumura is
state golf champ

By Bill Kwon


KOHALA COAST - The biggest winner in the David Ishii State Boys' Golf Championship yesterday at the Waikoloa Kings Course might well have been the University of Hawaii.

Jaime Matsumura of Kauai High School won the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state tournament individual title by one stroke over Kamehameha's Justin Kim. Both have accepted scholarships to play for the Rainbows' golf team this fall.

Matsumura shot a 73 yesterday for a 36-hole total of 144 to 145 for Kim, who closed with a final-round 72. Kim missed an 18-inch birdie putt on the 18th hole that would have forced a playoff.

Garrett Okamura of Baldwin finished third at 146, a shot ahead of Jim Seki Jr., the tournament's defending champion from Punahou.

Waiakea won the team championship for the second year in a row, turning back a strong challenge from Kamehameha, which is still looking for its first state title in golf.

Matsumura, winner of the Kauai Interscholastic Federation title the past two years, birdied the two par-5 holes on the front side to make the turn at 2-under 34 in playing with Seki, Kellen-Floyd Asao of Hawaii Baptist Academy and Waiakea's Ryan Masuda, who all shared the first-round lead with 71s.

They weren't aware of an onrushing Kim, who was playing in the foursome behind them.

Kim, who lost the Interscholastic League of Honolulu title to Seki in a playoff last week, birdied the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth holes to go 4-under and grab the tournament lead.

"I was thinking 'par the ninth hole,' " said Kim, who would have posted a scorching 31 on the front nine if he did. Instead, Kim found the rough on his drive, took an unplayable lie and double-bogeyed the hole.

Still, Kim led by a stroke over Matsumura, who bogeyed 11 and 12. But Kim's bogey at 17 - which Seki and Matsumura also bogeyed - dropped him a stroke back of Matsumura.

The Kauai champion parred the 18th, while Seki double-bogeyed the hole, ending his hopes of a repeat. Kim was on the front fringe in two at the par-5 18th, and rolled his first putt to within a foot-and-a-half of the cup. But he missed the short birdie putt that would have tied Matsumura.

"I still can't remember what I did," Kim said minutes later. "I might have been a little anxious.

"It would have been fine to win again," said Seki, who's Stanford bound. "I couldn't find the rhythm today. It was just one of those days.

"Unfortunately, it happened at this time. But it's hard to defend. Anyone of these guys can win."

And Matsumura did.

"I just played my game," said Matsumura, who finished runner-up to Seki in last year's state tournament at the Kaanapali North Course on Maui.

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