Teraoka wins state golf title with the right ball

Aj Teraoka teed off on the 16th hole Friday on his way to the boys state golf title. Craig T. Kojima / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Moanalua’s Aj Teraoka had quite the misfortune Thursday, but he didn’t let it get him down.

The senior went low — way low — with a 5-under 67 on Friday at the Turtle Bay Fazio Course to become the individual winner at the David S. Ishii/HHSAA Boys State Golf Championships.

Teraoka’s 74 on Thursday included back-to-back double bogeys and he found himself four strokes behind first-round leaders Noah Koshi of Hawaii Baptist and Kolbe Irei of Roosevelt.

And one of those double bogeys was because of every golfer’s nightmare. He played the wrong ball and took a 2-shot penalty.

“I thought it was mine for sure,” Teraoka said about addressing the ball after his drive on the Fazio 12th. “I hit the shot, got up to the green, marked it and placed it down. Then I saw a dot and I don’t have a dot.”

Hawaii Baptist freshman Noah Koshi placed second in his first appearance at the state tournament. Craig T. Kojima / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

He went back and played the hole again and parred it, plus the two strokes.

On Friday, Teraoka had six birdies and one bogey to overcome everything.

Koshi challenged Teraoka, fighting into a tie before bogeying his second-to-last hole (Fazio’s par-3 eighth) that put him one down again.

Koshi’s 25-foot birdie bid to tie it on the final hole went 3 feet past.

Teraoka finished his senior season in a blaze of glory. He also took the OIA title May 1 and he will bring that momentum with him to the University of Hawaii golf team.

Koshi, a freshman, has three more years to take aim at the league and state titles.

“It is what it is,” Koshi said. “I was not surprised (to finish second). It was one of my goals to be in the mix and have a chance.”


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