Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, June 18, 2001


Rainbow title
to McLachlin

The Punahou graduate's putter
is the key to victory

By Grady Timmons
Special to the Star-Bulletin

Fresh off a 16th place finish at the NCAA Championships in Durham, N.C., UCLA golfer and former Punahou standout Parker McLachlin rode a hot putter to victory in yesterday's Sports Shinko Rainbow Open at the Mililani Golf Club.

The 22-year-old McLachlin birdied three of the final four holes to post a two-under-par 70 for a three-day total of nine-under-par 217. That was two shots better than Mid-Pacific Country Club pro Jerry Mullen, 70-219, and four better than pros Ivan Cunningham, 71, and Kevin Hayashi, 74, both of whom finished at 221.

Brian Sasada, who fired the day's best round, a 68, and second round leader Ed Tischler, 76, were another shot back at 212, while Lance Suzuki, 71, and Scotty Kaneko, 73, were at 213. Jeff Ferry, 72--214, and University of Hawaii golfer Norman-Ganin Asao, 77-215, rounded out the top finishers.

McLachlin, who will be a senior next year at UCLA, left his driver in his bag during the entire tournament, content to rely on his three-wood, which he can smash 280 yards, and his trusty putter.

"My putter kept me in the hunt the entire tournament," said McLachlin, who dropped three 10-foot putts at the 15th, 16th and 18th holes to seal the win. "I didn't hit the ball very well the first two days, and on the range this morning I was hitting it pretty ugly, and that scared me. But I enjoy being in contention, and once we got into the round my game started to come around nicely. But my putting was the key this week. I hate to give away shots, and during the first two rounds I don't think I missed anything within six feet.''

Although Mid-Pac's Jerry Mullen wound up in second place, for the most of the day the real battle was between McLachlin and Hilo pro Kevin Hayashi, both of whom entered the final round a shot behind Ed Tischler, a teaching pro at Ewa's Coral Creek Golf Club.

Playing the back nine first, Tischler struggled early, carding a 39 to fall out of contention. Hayashi, meanwhile, jump-started his round with three birdies on his first six holes to open a three-shot lead over McLachlin.

By the end of the opening nine, however, that lead had been cut to one as McLachlin birdied the par-5 eighth (the 17th )and Hayashi bogeyed nine (the 18th). McLachlin then played an almost flawless final nine, barely missing birdie putts on holes 10 through 13 before catching fire.

When they came to the par-3 15th hole (the sixth), McLachlin and Hayashi were tied at 7 under. That's when McLachlin finally got a 10-foot birdie putt to drop. Uncharacteristically, Hayashi three-putted for bogey from 30 feet.

Punahou alum Parker McLachlin, 22, captured the Rainbow Open
title yesterday at the Mililani Golf Club with a 9-under 217.

At the par-5 16th, Hayashi powered his second shot over the green and had to scramble for par, while McLachlin pitched to within 10 feet and made another birdie. Suddenly his lead was three shots.

McLachlin's lone miscue came at the par-4 17th, where he pushed his approach shot into the right bunker and had to settle for bogey. Hayashi also bogeyed, which meant Mullen, playing in the group ahead, was the only golfer with a chance of catching McLachlin.

Mullen gave it a good try, making birdie at 18, but McLachlin topped him with a birdie of his own to secure the win.

"Give Parker credit,'' said Hayashi. "He played well when it counted. He made the putts when it counted.''

For McLachlin, who had previously won the Barbers Point Invitational, it was his first win competing against an open field. And coming on Father's Day, it was especially sweet because his father, Chris McLachlin, was his caddie.

As top pro, Mullen walked off with $5,000 in earnings. McLachlin earned a spot as one of 12 amateurs who will compete later this year in the Governor's Cup against the state's top pros. Those 12 amateurs will also vie in a special competition for a spot in the Sony Open in Hawaii -- a spot McLachlin, who has ambitions to be a tour pro, said he would very much like to earn.

In the A flight, Darian Desellem ballooned to a final-round 78, but finished a two-stroke winner at 152. Clifford Nishikawa, Alan Adachi and Steven Nguyen shared second at 154.

Thomas Takushi took B flight honors with a 159. Ed "Brada'' Jones was a stroke back at 160.

Tee shot: Bronson Kalilikane capped a successful week with a fifth-place finish in the championship flight. The 14-year-old carded a final round 77--217 to tie pro Ryusaku Watanabe for 17th place overall.

On Thursday, Kalilikane qualified for next month's Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego, tying for third in the 13-14 age group.

Kalilikane's father, Mark, was his caddy. His father, the head pro at Mililani, missed the cut on Saturday.

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