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Hilo Invitational Pro-Am & Golf Tournament, 2006

Hilo Municipal Golf Course - March 3-5

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Amateur Jarett Hamamoto Wins by 1!

Pictured above Kevin Hayashi (left, low professional) and Champion Jarett Hamamoto (right)

 

3.5.2006- 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 the title.

 

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 professional honors.

 

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 Resort.

 

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 golfers.”

 

Hamamoto, playing in the final pairing with professionals Philip Chun and Chad Saladin, knew that winning would be nice but not come easy.

 

“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 entertainment.

 

The rains that soaked Hilo did a good job not only making longer days and tougher shots; it tested the patience of every single golfer.

 

The soggy fairways were no challenge for the difficulties the competitors faced on the greens. “The greens were hard to read”, Hamamoto said.

 

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.

 

“It 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 click here to see.

 

Story by Lee Hardy

 


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