Seabury's Loree holds off field, wind to win boys state golf title

May 2—1/2

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Tyler Loree of Seabury Hall hit off the tee on the difficult 13th hole during the final round of the David Ishii/HHSAA Boys Golf Championship at Kaneohe Klipper Course on Wednesday.


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Loree, right, embraced teammate Daniel Arashiro Garcia after the round.


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It took a freshman from Kahuku to push Tyler Loree to his limit, but the Seabury Hall standout clutched up down the stretch to win the boys individual title at the David Ishii Foundation/HHSAA State Championships on Wednesday.

Loree carded a par-72 in the second round for a two-day 3-under 141. He was the runner-up last year as a sophomore.

"I feel really good. It's the most stress I've had in awhile. It was really fun, a great day of golf," Loree said. "It was definitely a lot more windy. The course definitely harder today, a lot of par 3s. I tried to flight my ball under the wind. That worked really well."

The wondrous Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course had stronger, more unpredictable winds on day two, but that didn't stop some contenders from posting better scores. Among them was Kahuku freshman Keola Silva Jr., who carded a 68 on Wednesday for a two-round total of 1-under 143. He had the best single round in the tourney.

"Yesterday, I know I missed out a lot out there and I was in a tougher spot, but hey, I still had today and it ain't over 'til it's over," Silva said. "Comparing yesterday to today, my drives weren't that great yesterday, but (today) a couple of them were on line. I had great club selections on my second shots. My putting still could've used a little work, but I had some saves here and there. I feel pretty good, but I was going for first place."

In Tuesday's opening round, he struggled with a 3-over 75, tallying two birdies and five bogeys. That changed a day later with five birdies and just two bogeys. Through 17 holes, Silva was within one stroke of Loree, who had just completed 13.

"I did not know that," Silva said. "You don't want to look at the leader board. I don't want to. It is stressful."

The 13th, a scenic, 471-yard experience, gave some players fits. On Tuesday, wind blew one way. On Wednesday, it changed direction. Silva bogeyed 13 on both days.

"Thirteen, my drive, I was kind of shaky a bit. It was hanging out on the edge on the right (ocean) side, but I just landed on the edge and it bounced back to the left," he said.

Both days, Loree found himself near the bushes not far from the water, only to escape with par on Tuesday and a bogey on Wednesday, avoiding major damage. After posting three birdies on day one, Loree had four birdies and three bogeys on Wednesday.

"Thirteen was brutal there. I'm not going to lie. It's always hard to find the wind out there. It's one of the more exposed holes, but the wind keeps blowing around there," Loree said. "I honestly thought my tee shot was out. It was in by a couple of feet so I was fortunate."

Loree extended his lead back to three strokes going into his final hole. At 18, he kept his approach simple, notching par to capture his first state crown.

OIA champion Nate Choi of Moanalua finished third after shooting 3-over 75 Wednesday. He finished at 2-over 146. ILH champion Tyler Tamayori of Saint Louis got within hollering distance of the leaders on day two before finishing with a 1-over 73, six strokes behind Loree.

The tournament's namesake, David Ishii, was on hand to present medals to the top 15 individuals and the team champion, Waiakea.

"He was my coach when I was 12," Tamayori said. "He told me, when it's breezy, swing easy. That's what I used today. His teaching style is not only about golf with him. He teaches you life lessons. He taught me everything that I know about golf."

Seabury Hall senior Daniel Arashiro-Garcia also carded a two-day 147 and placed fifth.

Hunter Kitagawa of Maui placed sixth and Renner Chumley of Maui Prep placed seventh. MIL golfers claimed four of the top seven individual scores.

Waiakea captured its second team title in a row with a total score of 612. That was enough to fend off Moanalua (617) and Punahou (617). Maui Prep finished fourth (619).

Waiakea's team, comprised of Noah Otani (149), Jake Otani (151), Skyler Miyashiro (157), Noah Miyazono (159) and Ryder Ng (162) will compete in the national high school championships at Cisco, Texas, on June 1-3. The Warriors placed fifth nationally last year.

"Winning last year was good, but winning this year was extra special, especially with our two seniors. We have three freshmen this year," Warriors coach Alika Toledo said.

"Every year, every group is special. I'll miss the seniors. Their leadership. Passing on their wisdom to the freshmen. I needed them to instill everything they know into them. Without them, there can be no third (state title)."