It might as well have been called the UHH Invitational.
Chris Shimomura carded a 72 to edge teammate Corey Kozuma on Tuesday as the University of Hawaii at Hilo men’s golf team cruised to victory at the Dennis Rose Intercollegiate at the Waikoloa Kings’ Course.
Vulcans coach Earl Tamiya said the wind died down during the final nine holes as Shimomura finished up a 7-under 209 for his first college victory.
“He got a taste of winning,” Tamiya said. “Hopefully he can take it with him to the spring.
“He has the talent to win.”
Tamiya saw marked improvement from Shimomura compared to just a week earlier in Monterey, Calif., where he shot 44 on the back nine of one round and slumped to an 80.
“This time he held it together,” Tamiya said.
Kozuma (73) was two shots back, while UHH’s Dalen Yamauchi (78) and Cal State-East Bay’s Joel Keylor (75) tied for third at 3-over.
With the fall season in the books, Tamiya hoped that the winning effort would help UHH this spring when it will vie for a regional berth. The team rebounded from 13th-place finish at the Otter Invitational.
“We messed up in Monterey, but this is what we needed to contend,” Tamiya said.
Kyeton Littel and Christian Agosto each closed with 76s and tied for 13th, but only Littel counted toward the team scoring for UHH, which was 25 shots better than Cal State Stanislaus. Vulcan Nick Matsushima was 13-over. Joining Agosto as an individual scorer was Takashi Murayama, who tied for 42nd at 24-over.
The UHH women tied for second with Cal State-East Bay, 10 shots in back of first-place Cal State-Chico State.
Nova Southeastern’s Daniela Ortiz took medallist honors, finishing at 11-over at Waikola Beach Golf Course.
For UHH, Dayna Bersamin closed with a 7-over 77 and was at 22-over in placing ninth. Kristen Sawada (79) was another shot back in 10th. Other Vulcans were Jade Salvador (14th, 26-over), Erika Morihiro (tied for 20th, 22-over) and Kacie Harada (24th, 24-over). Competing as an individual, Nyssa Aoki tied for 28th at 33-over.