Posted permission, article and pictures, courtesy of Hawaii Pacific University
IRVINE, Calif. – Hawai’i Pacific University’s Keita Okada was chosen the PacWest Conference Golfer of the Year and HPU head coach Ed Kageyama was voted PacWest Coach of the Year as the 2022 All-PacWest Conference Men’s Golf Team was announced on Tuesday.
Okada is on the All-PacWest First Team as well, and is joined by teammate Ryan Torres who was selected to the All-PacWest Third Team.
Okada, a sophomore from Tokyo, Japan/Bradenton Fla. IMG Academy, won his second consecutive PacWest Conference Individual Championship in 2022. It was one of his three tournament wins during the 2021-22 season as he helped lead the Sharks to their first PacWest Conference Championship and a berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament. Okada is on a school-record pace as he led the PacWest Conference and was second in the West Region with stroke average of 72.04 heading into the regional. He shot par or better in 13 of his 24 rounds, with seven rounds in the 60s and a low score of 66 at the Dennis Rose Invitational in October. In addition to winning three of his 10 tournaments this season, he finished in the top three in four others and had a total of eight top six finishes. The 2021 PacWest Freshman of the Year has now collected been honored as a first teamer twice in his career.
Torres, a senior from San Jose, Calif./Evergreen Valley, was honored as All-PacWest Conference Third Team for the second straight season. He tied for ninth individually at the 2022 PacWest Conference Championships, and had a second and seventh place appearance for three top 10 finishes on the season. He also two more top 20 finishes this season. He recorded two 69s on the year, with seven rounds of par or better on his way to a 75.46 stroke average.
Kageyama is finishing his second full season with HPU, after COVID interrupted his first season in 2020. He directed the Sharks to their first-ever PacWest Conference Championship in 2022, to go with their third place finish in 2021. The 2021-22 Sharks currently have the lowest team scoring average in school history heading into the regional at 300.21. It is his first selection as the PacWest Conference Coach of the Year.
Joining the Okada and Kageyama with PacWest Special Awards is Chaminade’s Ryan Shields Vega as PacWest Freshman of the Year.
The Sharks open play in the 2022 NCAA West/South Central Super Regional on Thursday at the Pueblo Country Club in Pueblo, Colo. HPU plays with West Texas A&M and five of the individual qualifiers on Thursday starting at 5:10 a.m. HST (9:10 a.m. MDT), then on Friday the group will start at 8:30 a.m. HST (12:30 p.m. MDT). The field will be re-paired for Saturday’s final round that beings at 3:30 a.m. HST (7:30 a.m. MDT).