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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, May 2, 2002

Kamehameha sweeps ILH golf

By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer

Kamehameha Schools swept the Interscholastic League of Honolulu individual golf championships yesterday, with senior Christian Akau repeating as boys champion and freshman Mari Chun winning the girls title at Waialae Country Club.

Kamehameha senior Christian Akau shot a two-round total of 7-under 137 to win his second straight ILH title by seven strokes.

Deborah Booker • The Honolulu Advertiser

Akau, who shot a 6-under-par 66 in Monday's first round at O'ahu Country Club, shot a 1-under 71 yesterday for a two-day total of 7-under 137. That was seven strokes better than Warriors teammate Chris Caycayon and eight better than Chris Souza, also of Kamehameha.

"Today was just textbook golf," Akau said. "I hit all the fairways and all the greens. I really wanted to win again."

While not as spectacular as Monday's round, during which he strung together six birdies in a row, Akau's round yesterday again showed how he improved upon last year's championship season.

Akau played the first 13 holes at par or better, and after a bogey on No. 14 and a double-bogey on 15, he finished with three straight pars.

It was the fourth under-par round of the season for Akau, whose stroke average was 67.8 in his five best rounds before yesterday.

"I thought he might have reached his pinnacle last year, but I've seen how much more focused he is this year," Kamehameha coach Wes Wailehua said. "His maturity, his ability to focus under pressure and the effort he's put into his game is tremendous."

Akau said he knew that this year's championship might be tougher to win than last year's, especially with many of last year's contenders returning. The ILH season, in which 11 under-par rounds were recorded, suggested as much.

"All those guys were pushing me and made me practice hard," Akau said. "I tried to keep my game in shape and I was more aggressive, I wasn't holding back as much. I was expecting to shoot under par every time, because that's how the competition is in college."

Kamehameha freshman Mari Chun shot a two-round total of 15-over 159 to win the ILH girls championship by one stroke.

Deborah Booker • The Honolulu Advertiser

Akau has signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Idaho next year.

For Chun, college is still a few years away, but she wasted no time in winning her first ILH championship.

A 4-over 76 Monday at O'ahu Country Club had given Chun a two-stroke lead heading into yesterday's round, and an 11-over 83 was enough to win by one stroke over Punahou sophomore Lindsay Hong.

"It was not my best round," Chun said. "I actually thought I lost. I didn't know where I was at (on the leader board)."

Chun shot a 4-over 40 on the front nine, and Hong, who began the day five strokes behind, made the turn at 41. Hong opened the back nine with birdie and par to close to four strokes, but she couldn't capitalize when Chun took a double-bogey on 14.

"I three-putted," said Hong, who also double-bogeyed the hole. "I three-putted three times today."

Hong birdied the next hole to close to three strokes, and made par on the final hole while Chun double-bogeyed. Hong could have forced a playoff with a birdie on that last hole, but she said the hole she'd most like to play again was No. 7, on which she took a quadruple-bogey 8.

"I pulled it into the trees, and then I three-putted," Hong said.

It's the second straight runner-up finish for Hong, who led the league in stroke average the past two seasons — 75.4 this year, 76 in 2001.

Chun said her freshman season was "scary."

"It never hit me that I was on the varsity until our first (match)," she said.

But her coach, Julie Miyagi, said Chun had what it took to be a rookie champion.

"This year wasn't to get her feet wet, it was to win," said Miyagi, a former University of Hawai'i golfer. "She wants it so bad, the desire was already there. I don't have to teach or coach that. And she's a smart player, she knows when to try certain shots."

The big test yesterday, Chun and Miyagi said, was playing with a lead for the first time.

"The mental part was the key," Miyagi said. "It was not focusing on results or her score, but focusing on just playing."