Late bogey brings
victory to Kimura

Blaine Kimura looked more than a little relieved when he holed a 4-foot putt for bogey late yesterday afternoon to capture the Oahu Country Club Invitational.

The 35-year-old Kimura, the vice-president of a computer-consulting firm, had never won a golf tournament before, and coming down the stretch it showed.

Holding a comfortable four-shot lead with four holes to play, Kimura began leaking oil and barely escaped with a win over University of Hawaii golfer Kellen Floyd Asao.

His winning total of 68-75-77 -- 220 was one shot better than Asao, who closed with a 74 -- 221.

Del Marc Fujita (72) and 2005 Manoa Cup champion Travis Toyama (75) finished another shot back at 222.

"There really wasn't any pressure for me to win today," Kimura said afterward. "I've only been playing the game for nine years, so my thought today was just to shoot a good round. If someone passed me, then I just wanted to finish as high as possible. I really didn't even think about winning until I reached the 15th tee."

Kimura led the tournament, which was plagued by wind and rain all three days, from start to finish. He began yesterday with a two-shot lead over 2004 Manoa Cup champion Ryan Perez, who finished in a tie for fifth at 78 -- 223.

Asao was four back at the start of the day but picked up a shot on the front nine when he turned in 36. Starting at the uphill, par-4 12th, however, he made three consecutive bogeys, and by the time he and Kimura arrived at the 15th he was again four behind.

"I don't know what happened on those three holes," said Asao, the 2003 Manoa Cup champion. "I just lost track of my game. I had to sit down, take a few breaths and get back in it."

Blaine Kimura, above, watched his approach shot during yesterday's Oahu Country Club Invitational and later, below, clutched the championship trophy.


Wilson drops to tied for 60th

Dean Wilson of Kaneohe went in the wrong direction on moving day. After yesterday's third round he was tied for 60th place at 3-under. He had started the day at 6-under and tied for 19th.

Wilson fired a 3-over 74, continuing a trend of beginning his round in fine fashion only to falter on the finishing nine. He birdied Nos. 2 and 6 and bogeyed 9 on the front nine before a disastrous back where he went bogey, double-bogey, bogey, birdie, bogey over the final five holes.

Wilson went into today a combined 10 under on the first nine holes of each day, compared to 7 over to end the rounds.

"I think I fall into some tendencies as the round goes along," Wilson said after Friday's second round.

Dave Reardon, Star-Bulletin

At the long, downhill 585-yard par-5 15th, Asao unloaded on a drive, leaving himself with only a wedge into the green. He pushed it right, but still managed to make a birdie and pull within three.

At the par-3 16th, Asao picked up another shot when Kimura pulled his tee shot into the back bunker and couldn't get up and down for par.

At the short, downhill par-4 17th, Asao almost drove the green with a 3-wood. Kimura, meanwhile, pulled his drive dead left and got a break when his ball stopped short of the water hazard.

From there he lofted a beautiful sand wedge onto the green and made par, while Asao, who was just off the front of green, failed to convert for birdie. That meant that going to the 18th tee, Kimura still had a two-shot lead.

As it turned out, he needed it. After watching Asao drive left into the trees (from where he managed to make a par), Kimura drove safely down the right-center of the fairway. He shoved his ensuing approach shot to the right, however, where it caught a bunker that kept the ball in play.

From a difficult lie in the sand, Kimura blasted nicely to within 15 feet of the hole. All he had to do from there was two putt.

He managed to accomplish that, but not before sending his first putt 4 feet past the hole.

"I don't know what happened on that putt," he said. "I don't know why I hit it so hard. I thought I had to make it to win."

When he made the next one he was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief.

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