For the second consecutive day, the University of Hawaii at Hilo men’s golf team played like a split squad at its NCAA super regional.
Senior Corey Kozuma fired a 1-under 71 to get within a shot of the lead Tuesday, while senior Chris Shimomura was another stroke back after a 73 in the second round in Austin, Texas.
“Corey played very well,” Vulcans coach Earl Tamiya said. “Tough conditions. Scores went south, but he hung in there.”
Kozuma pocketed his third birdie of the round on No. 17 and was in a three-way tie for third at even-par for the tournament. St. Edward’s Enrique Livas (72) and Colorado Mesa’s Colin Prater (71) were at 1-under.
The group at 1-over included Shimomura, who overcame a rough front nine with birdies on the final two holes at Grey Rock Golf Club.
Kuzoma and Shimomura highlighted a 295 team score as the Vulcans gained a little breathing room and moved up a spot into fifth place at 19-over 595.
The top six teams after today’s final round will qualify for the NCAA championships. Chico State (597) was sixth and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (599) was seventh.
“It’s going to be a shootout,” Tamiya said.
While UHH’s Dalen Yamauchi (74) remained steady and settled at 3-over, Kyeton Littel and Christian Agosto continued to struggle. Littel double-bogeyed the par-4 16th hole and sank only one birdie during his 77, and Agosto played the back nine at 5-over during a 79. They were at 159 and 161, respectively.
“I told them at dinner they had to play the rounds of their lives (Wednesday),” Tamiya said.
Kozuma and Shimomura were part of the Vulcans team that last qualified for NCAA’s in 2011
St. Edward’s (585) led the team race by three shots, and Western New Mexico (588), California State-Monterey Bay (590) and Colorado Christian (592) rounded out the top four.
Women: The Lady Vulcans slumped to a 50-over 338 and were in last place among nine teams at their super regional in Mansfield, Texas.
Kristen Sawada and Kacie Harada led the way with 11-over 83s. Sawada was tied for 16th place at 16-over, and Harada was another nine shots back.
Also competing for UHH were Jade Salvador (85, 170), Dayna Bersamin (87, 171) and Nyssa Aoki (93, 173).
UHH (664) was 47 shots behind first-place St. Edward’s heading into today’s final round.