Seniors Corey Kozuma and Chris Shimomura played like golfers intent on extending their college careers, and junior Dalen Yamauchi looked like he wasn’t ready for an early summer either.
Each was in the top 15 on Monday as the University of Hawaii at Hilo carded a 12-over 300 and was tied for sixth after the first round of an NCAA Division II super regional in Austin, Texas.
The Vulcans were 12 shots behind first-place California State-Monterey Bay, but one of the magical numbers of the tournament is six — teams which will qualify for the NCAA championships.
Beyond the top six teams, the top two individual scorers will also move on, and Shimomura (72), Kozuma (73) and Yamauchi (73) each were in good position.
“Chris hit the ball well and showed good ball-control,” UHH coach Earl Tamiya said. “Corey was doing good until a double-bogey on the last hole, a par 3.”
CSU-Monterey’s Brandon Holt and St. Edward’s Andres Rodas shared the lead at 3-under.
Tamiya said a windy day at Grey Rock Golf Club got even windier when the Vulcans played in the afternoon.
He would like to see a fourth scorer step up in the next two rounds, which will be played today and Wednesday. UHH’s Kyeton Littel and Christian Agosto both struggled and finished with 82s.
Asked what he told Littel and Agosto after the round, Tamiya said: “We didn’t say much. Silence is golden.”
St. Edward’s (291) was three shots off the lead in second, while Chico State (293), Western New Mexico (295), and Cameron (299) rounded out the top five. The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs joined UHH at 300, and CSU-Stanislaus was another stroke behind.
Women: The Lady Vulcans shot a 38-over 326 and were in seventh place after their opening round at a super regional in Mansfield, Texas.
UHH’s Kristen Sawada was tied for ninth at 5-over 77, six shots behind leader Hee-Leina Kim of Colorado State-Pueblo. Also playing for the Vulcans were Nyssa Aoki (80), Dayna Bersamin (84), Jade Salvador (85) and Kacie Harada (86).
St. Edward’s led by four strokes, and it was followed by Tarleton state (310), California Baptist (314), Dallas Baptist (320), Cal State East Bay (323), West Texas A&M (324), UHH (326), Midwestern State (328) and Chico State (337).