Top amateur golfers are really taking
control at the Hilo Invitational as Jarett Hamamoto performed
the hat trick and edged out Kevin Hayashi by one shot to claim
Hamamoto came from behind and fired rounds of 67-70 (137) for a
5-under total and won the 9th Annual Hilo
Invitational Golf Tournament.
Hayashi, the 1999 champion, had a pair of 69’s (138) to take low
Hilo professional David Kim, who lost in a playoff last year for
low pro came in tied for third with UH-Hilo senior Kevin
Shimomura at 139.
This is now Hamamoto’s second victory in open competition in the
state. In November, he won the Hawaii State Open at Mauna Kea
He credits his performance this week simply just having college
golf in season. “I’m playing better because we’re practicing
more, and playing more tournaments with all the college
Hamamoto, playing in the final pairing with professionals Philip
Chun and Chad Saladin, knew that winning would be nice but not
“I knew that winning here would be special but there is a little
bit more pressure because I’m from Hilo”, said Hamamoto.
And if the expectation of playing good at your home course
didn’t create added stress, good ole’ Mr. Weather provided some
The rains that soaked Hilo did a good job not only making longer
days and tougher shots; it tested the patience of every single
The soggy fairways were no challenge for the difficulties the
competitors faced on the greens. “The greens were hard to read”,
But he made it a little easy on himself by hitting a lot of
greens to ensure birdie opportunities.
“I had some good looks at putts, but they didn’t fall in for
birdie. And I was hitting the ball really good today…the putts
just didn’t go in.”
For the Hilo Invitational, it’s a great chance for local golfers
to play in a tournament with named professionals and amateurs,
or just to come and watch how they go about their business.
brings a stronger field to Hilo. For the younger guys, this is a
good chance to see how the other guys play on your home course
and how they act on the course—maybe they can learn something
from that”, Hamamoto added. Final
full field scores now posted
Story by Lee Hardy