Punahou’s Andrew Chin has been a successful Interscholastic League of Honolulu golfer for three years now.
He placed third in the league championship as a freshman and seventh as a sophomore. As a junior? Well, on Thursday he broke through by hanging on for a victory over Kyle Suppa at the Turtle Bay Fazio Course.
Chin now has the title of ILH champion, and he deserved it after the way he braved the final hole in front of a modest crowd.
Suppa, Chin’s senior teammate, kept on closing in, trimming a five-shot deficit to just two heading to the 18th. Both golfers had similar drives, similar approaches and similar putts to finish. Suppa was away, at about 12 feet.
Sure enough, he drained his attempt, putting pressure squarely on the shoulders of Chin, who said afterward that he didn’t want to make a fool of himself and mess up.
Most people’s knees would be knocking. Chin stepped up and left his first attempt a foot and a half short. Heart beating, possibly?
Many hackers would miss it, for sure. Just too much pressure. Chin, though, showed his championship mettle by making it for his 5-under 139 total.
Interestingly, when you break it down, Chin would not have been able to get it done had he not shot a sparking 5-under 67 in the first round on Monday at Oahu Country Club.
Believe it or not, he didn’t hit the ball very well that day.
“My driver was pretty terrible,” Chin said. “I hit one fairway. My putter was really, really hot — 21 putts. All smoke and mirrors, as they say.”
In ILH girls golf, there’s a machine called Mariel Galdiano chugging along and she has one more high school tournament left, next month’s states at Wailua Golf Course on Kauai.
Galdiano watched teammate and nearest high school rival Allisen Corpuz chip-in from 40 yards out on the 18th hole on Thursday to cut her 4-shot lead to 2.
Despite the brilliant finish, it wasn’t enough for the runner-up Corpuz, who finished second in the league tourney for the second straight year.
Galdiano, a senior, is going for a fourth state championship in May at Wailua Golf Course on Kauai, the place she carded her first hole-in-one.
I “haven’t played there in a long time, but I love Kauai and I’m excited to go and try to get my fourth one,” she said.
Galdiano, who had a 3-under 69 in the first round at OCC, cooled off with a 73 Thursday for a 2-under 142 total, two shots clear of Corpuz.
“Today was a little rough,” she said. “I’ve been really busy at school with a lot of senior stuff and homework, and so I’ve been kind of tired.”
Galdiano vowed that she’ll be ready come state-tournament time.
“We go over early and so I will have a chance to get rested and prepared,” she said.
Corpuz, who won the league title as a freshman before Galdiano’s three-year run, isn’t going to yield, even though she’s a friend and a fellow senior with Galdiano.
“States has always been my goal, so hopefully I can get it this year,” Corpuz said.
Galdiano is the first Hawaii high school girl to win three ILH crowns in a row. Iolani’s Marissa Chow (2009 2011, 2012) won it three times, but not consecutively. Punahou’s Stephanie Kono (2005, 2006) and Kamehameha’s Mari Chun (2002, 2004) are two-time winners.
ILH girls champions
>> 1999: Bobbie Arakawa, Punahou
>> 2000: Whitney Reigh Asao, Hawaii Baptist
>> 2001: Stefanie Oshiro, St. Francis
>> 2002: Mari Chun, Kamehameha
>> 2003: Lindsey Hong, Punahou
>> 2004: Mari Chun, Kamehameha
>> 2005: Stephanie Kono, Punahou
>> 2006: Stephanie Kono, Punahou
>> 2007: Kate Sisler, Punahou
>> 2008: Cyd Okino, Punahou
>> 2009: Marissa Chow, ‘Iolani
>> 2010: Alina Ching, Punahou
>> 2011: Marissa Chow, ‘Iolani
>> 2012: Marissa Chow, ‘Iolani
>> 2013: Allisen Corpuz, Punahou
>> 2014: Mariel Galdiano, Punahou
>> 2015: Mariel Galdiano, Punahou
>> 2016: Mariel Galdiano, Punahou
ILH boys champions (since 1997)
>> 1997: Parker McLachlin, Punahou
>> 1998: Jim Seki, Punahou
>> 1999: Jim Seki, Punahou
>> 2000: David Baptista, Kamehameha
>> 2001: Christian Akau, Kamehameha
>> 2002: Christian Akau, Kamehameha
>> 2003: Travis Toyama, University
>> 2004: Travis Toyama, University
>> 2005: Kurt Nino, Damien
>> 2006: David Fink, ‘Iolani
>> 2007: Alika Bell, Kamehameha
>> 2008: Alex Ching, Punahou
>> 2009: Alika Bell, Kamehameha
>> 2010: Lorens Chan, ‘Iolani
>> 2011: Kalena Preus, Punahou
>> 2012: Kai Hayashida, Punahou
>> 2013: PJ Samiere, Punahou
>> 2014: Kengo Aoshima, ‘Iolani
>> 2015: Spencer Dunaway, Kamehameha
>> 2016: Andrew Chin, Punahou