Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, July 12, 1999

H A W A I I _ G O L F

By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
Manoa Cup champion Shane Hoshino dons the green jacket
that goes to the tournament's victor yesterday. The 110-pound
Hoshino found his new jacket a little big.

Hoshino takes
Manoa Cup

The UH-Hilo golfer shocks
two-time defending champion
Brandan Kop, 4 and 3

By Bill Kwon


Shane Hoshino doesn't even weigh 110 pounds soaking wet, which he was after getting dunked in the Oahu Country Club swimming pool -- the traditional ceremony awaiting the Manoa Cup champion.

The slender 20-year-old made sure they threw him in the shallow end of the pool.

"I can't swim," said Hoshino, who stunned two-time defending champion Brandan Kop, 4 and 3, to win the State Amateur Match Play championship yesterday.

But, obviously, Hoshino can play golf.

"He was just consistent all day. He had no weaknesses in his game," said Kop, who was seeking his fifth title overall.

"To beat him on his own home course is a big honor for me," said Hoshino, whose first victory ever came in the most prestigious of local amateur tournaments.

"This is the one I wanted to win, more than anything," added Hoshino. who will be a junior at University of Hawaii-Hilo.

"Hopefully, there will be more to come."

He certainly appears capable of more, judging by his victory over Kop, who had not lost a Manoa Cup match since 1996. And never after reaching the semifinals.

Who's this Shane that seemingly has come out of nowhere this year?

"I've had a great stretch of six really good tournaments in a row," said Hoshino, who finished third in the Sports Shinko Rainbow Open and the OCC Invitational last month and fourth in the State Amateur Stroke Play Championship.

"I've been able to control my temper and my emotions a lot better. I don't get too frustrated with myself out there anymore," said Hoshino, who credits his UH-Hilo golf coach Earl Tamiya.

"Mr. Tamiya has helped out a lot. He doesn't tolerate any showing of your emotions on the golf course," Hoshino said.

A good-luck phone call from Tamiya the night before the final might have been just the mental reminder Hoshino needed.

He had a locked-in mindset and beat Kop at his own game and on his own course.

A 1997 Mililani High graduate, Hoshino led 1-up after the morning 18. He took the opening hole in the afternoon round to go 2-up, but Kop then won the fifth, sixth and seventh holes to go ahead by one.

Kop thought the par-4 eighth -- the 26th hole of the day -- might have been the turning point of the shooting match.

"I won three holes in a row, so I was 1-up and he hit it into the bunker at eight," Kop said.

"He made an almost impossible bunker shot. He just cleared the lip, hit the fringe and rolled to about two feet of the cup. That halved the hole.

"(If) he lost that hole, it would have been four in a row and kind of hard for him."

"When I made that save, I knew I had a great chance of winning," Hoshino said.

He then sank a 25-foot birdie putt at the par-3 ninth to pull even and won 10 and 11 to go 2-up. A 12-footputt for birdie at the par-5 13th upped Hoshino's lead to three and he dormied Kop when the latter bogeyed 14th with four holes to play.

Both parred the par-5 15th, ending the match.

"I just couldn't sink the putts when I needed to and Shane putted good," said Kop, who had to play 36 holes on successive days -- a new wrinkle in this year's Manoa Cup.

It might have been a factor, according to Kop.

But Hoshino said he was dead tired, too.

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