The next time Dysen Park plays at Honolulu Country Club, he’ll try not to “underestimate” the wind-in-your-face hiccup that was No. 18.
That hole notwithstanding, it was smooth sailing over the other 34 for Park, who closed with a 1-under 72 on Wednesday for a commanding five-shot victory at a Hawaii State Junior Golf Association tour stop.
“I was very happy and pleased with how I managed my rounds and played consistently the whole tournament,” the Waiakea junior said. “Both days were sunny with some wind, but nothing crazy. Pin placements were definitely scoreable, but if you missed it in the wrong spot on some holes, you would pay the price.”
He rarely did, reeling off two birdies and 12 pars during one stretch Wednesday to get to 145. He was the only competitor in any of the eight age divisions to break par. Each round he pocketed three birdies, one bogey – and then there was No. 18. He bogeyed the hole Wednesday after taking a double-bogey on Tuesday, salvaging a 73 that vaulted him into a one-stroke lead.
Park was able to shrug off his worst hole of the tournament because it followed his best, a chip for birdie on No. 17.
“I short-sided myself on my tee shot off the long par 3 and had a pitch shot over a bunker with little green to work with and a big down slope toward the hole,” he said. “I was fortunate enough to hole out and move onto 18. Definitely one of those shots where luck was on my side.”
Park – who figures to be among the favorites to win the BIIF championship during his final two seasons with the Warriors – was coming off of a so-so performance at the HSJGA championships, carding consecutive 80s last week at Hokulia in Kealakekua.
“Although I struggled last week, all I told myself was this was a fresh start and a new chance to put up some good scores,” Park said.
Maui’s Anson Cabello (75) was second in the boys 15-18 division, while Hilo’s Noah Otani put up a pair of 80s and was eighth in the 14-player field.
Honolulu’s Yewon Jang claimed the older girls division at 7-over 153. Hilo’s Elle Otani (85-83) was third, and Waikoloa’s Isabella Rodriguez was 37-over.
Hilo’s Noah Otani – who lost in a playoff at Hokulia last week in boys 13-14 – came in fifth of 11 golfers Wednesday at 23-over. Oaha’s Bryce Toledo-Lue finished with a 72 and won by nine shots at 4-over.
Park is looking forward to teaming up with three other golfers at the Eddie Hogan Cup in Portland, Ore., in mid-August.
“I’ll be proudly representing Hawaii,” he said.