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Star-Bulletin Sports

Friday, April 14, 2000

H A W A I I _ G O L F

By Kathryn Bender, Star-Bulletin
Brian Sasada lines up a putt that he made for a birdie on
the fourth hole yesterday during the Mid-Pacific Open.

Winds, scores high
at Mid-Pacific Open

By Bill Kwon


The scores weren't breathtaking, but the field in the Mid-Pacific Open yesterday was left winded.

Par 72 proved to be a good score -- good enough for four golfers to share the first-round lead as the wind and concrete-fast greens proved hazardous to one's putting.

"When the wind blows like this, putting is hard," said Lance Suzuki, an eight-time Mid-Pac Open champion who's one-stroke back of the leaders going into today's second round.

You don't have to tell Brandan Kop that.

One of the premier putters locally, Kop three-putted five greens in shooting a 77.

"This wind is something else," said Neil Simms, who shared the lead at 72 along with fellow pros Casey Nakama and Mark Takahama and amateur Paul Kimura.

Simms sank a 5-foot birdie putt on his final hole -- the par-4 ninth -- to pull even with par.

The former Radford High School standout is making a comeback in golf after a five-year layoff.

Nakama, who also played the back nine first, three-putted the ninth as well, costing him the sole lead.

He had been 2-under after an eagle-3 at the 473-yard 15th hole, sinking an 8-foot putt. But he finished bogey-bogey.

No one had more trouble on the closing holes on both nines at the Mid-Pacific Country Club Course in Lanikai yesterday than Beau Yokomoto.

The Pearl Country Club assistant pro wound up with a one-over 73 despite eagles at the par-5 fourth and 15th holes. He had a 6-inch tap-in at the uphill and into-the-wind 15 after a 5-iron from 175 yards out.

Yokomoto bogeyed 17 and double-bogeyed the 18th when he three-putted from three feet as the first putt lipped out and ended four feet from the cup.

He then bogeyed the eighth and ninth holes, two difficult par 4s which play in the teeth of the wind.

"They're tough holes coming in," Yokomoto said.

Also at 73 with Suzuki and Yokomoto were Keone Seabury and Ivan Cunningham.

Former National Publinx champion Guy Yamamoto had it at 3-under at one point before finishing with a 74 with eight others. Kevin Hayashi, who has won the past two open tournaments, shot a 75.

"It was a long day," said Hayashi, who remains in the hunt to make it three in a row.

The winning professional on Sunday will get $6,000.

The field will be cut to approximately 50 percent and ties in each of the flights after today's second round.

Mid-Pac Open

At Mid-Pacific Country Club, par-72

First round leaders

Casey Nakama -- 38-34-72
Neil Simms -- 37-35-72
Mark Takahama -- 35-37-72
a-Paul Kimura -- 34-38-72
Lance Suzuki -- 38-35-73
Keone Seabury -- 35-38-73
Beau Yokomoto -- 35-38-73
Ivan Cunningham -- 36-37-73
Philip Chun -- 38-36-74
Frank Sanchez Jr. -- 37-37-74
Reynold Lee -- 35-39-74
Jay Shannon -- 38-36-74
Sian Souza -- 36-38-74
a-Al Bello -- 38-36-74
a-Ryan Koshi -- 35-39-74
a-Guy Yamamoto -- 37-37-74
a-Jarret Young -- 39-35-74
a-Mike Ukauka -- 40-35-75
a-Shigeru Matsui -- 36-39-75

A Flight

Edwin Yokoyama -- 39-38-77
Casey Kobashigawa -- 38-40-78
Neal Kanda -- 40-38-78
Joseph Carpenito -- 40-39-79
Norman Inouye -- 39-40-79
Dino Arado -- 38-42-80
Larry Creighton -- 41-39-80
Bryant Akisada -- 42-38-80
Jim Wiecking -- 40-40-80
James Swoish -- 40-40-80

B Flight

Paul Cunney -- 41-38-79
Don Miyashita -- 42-37-79
Fred Morinaka -- 39-41-80
John Tamanaha -- 42-38-80
Hideaki Sakagami -- 37-44-81
Bob Christenson -- 41-41-82
Lance Yagi -- 42-40-82
Glenn Ikei -- 43-39-82
Toshio Kanehara -- 41-41-82
Clayton Nishimoto -- 41-41-82

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