Hirano’s eagle draws some hoots and hollers

Punahou's Remington Hirano blasted out of the bunker on the second hole of Turtle Bay's Fazio Course. Darryl Oumi / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Punahou’s Remington Hirano blasted out of the bunker on the second hole of Turtle Bay’s Fazio Course. Darryl Oumi / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Spencer Dunaway of Kamehameha wasn’t the only one making noise during the ILH championship golf tournament on Thursday at Turtle Bay’s Fazio Course.

Dunaway birdied the 18th hole to win the title by one stroke.

A little earlier, Punahou’s Remington Hirano chipped in for eagle on the 277-yard par-4 14th. He was just short, right and below the green after a booming drive.

Playing partner Andrew Otani of ‘Iolani, the first round leader on Monday who fell off the pace Thursday, got a glimpse of Hirano’s shot from about 40 yards left and short of the green.

“No way. No way, Remington,” Otani yelled.

“Yeah, Remington,” shouted Dunaway, who was walking up the adjacent fairway, the 16th, and had been chatting with Otani just seconds before Remington’s shot.

Otani and Remington were in the final boys group along with Kyle Suppa, who was still in contention for the title at that point and wound up finishing third.

At the time, Kengo Aoshima was in the clubhouse at 1-over 144 and in the lead.

Due to a laid-back and comfortable 1950s style lack of communication between the golfers on the course and the clubhouse, Dunaway didn’t know he was actually tied for the lead. His uncle gave him the news on the 17th tee, so he knew he needed to birdie one of the two holes.

On the 17th, his 15-foot putt lipped out, but thanks to his 59-yard approach on the 18th, he drilled home a 4-footer for the win at even-par 143.

Dunaway rewarded himself with some putting practice after the victory, which came a year after losing the ILH title to Aoshima in a close battle.

“Maybe it will sink in tonight,” he said, all smiles, after his putting practice.

Dunaway said some golf course tips given to him by former ‘Iolani player Zachary Akagi-Bustin, who works at Turtle Bay, was a big help.

“He told me where the pins were going to be tucked,” Dunaway said. And that turned out to be huge, since many golfers talked about the tough pin placements after their rounds Thursday.

“I got into position to win and I was glad I was able to actually close it out,” he added.


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