Kauais Wise leads
girls state golf tourney
Lehua Wise got off to a rocky start in last year's girls state golf tournament and ended up finishing three shots behind the winner.
Yesterday, the Kauai senior got on a roll early at the David S. Ishii Foundation Girls State Golf Championship at the Waikoloa Beach Course.
Wise, the Kauai Interscholastic Federation champion, shot an even-par 70 yesterday for a one-stroke lead over Hilo's Kira-Ann Murashige heading into today's final round.
A neighbor island golfer has won four of the past five individual state titles, with Waiakea's Leah Whiting taking home the trophy last year. Whiting is now at Oregon State.
Hilo holds a 12-stroke advantage in the team standings after a 221 on a sunny day that had intermittent breezes. Defending champion Waiakea is at 232, followed by Kauai (235) and Punahou and Baldwin (240).
Wise fired a 77 in the first round a year ago, and needed a late surge on the final day for a third-place finish. Waiakea sophomore Amanda Wilson was second in 2002 -- but will need a super day today for a top-two finish after carding an opening-round 75.
Wise and Murashige, the Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion, have a comfortable lead over the rest of the pack.
Hilo's Whitney Ueno is third at 74, Wilson and Kamehameha's Mari Chun are at 75, and Punahou's Lindsay Hong and Hilo's Kristen Higa are another shot back at 76.
Lisa Kajihara of King Kekaulike, tops in the Maui Interscholastic League this season, is at 77. Oahu Interscholastic Association champion Ayumi Hori of Moanalua struggled to an 84.
A neighbor island team has captured all four team titles, with Waiakea winning twice and Hilo and Kauai each winning once.
The best two-day total in state tournament history is 143 (68-75) by Merynn Ito of Aiea in 2000. Punahou's Anna Umemura is the only multiple winner (1994, '95, '97).