Posted with permission, article and pictures, from University of Hawaii Hilo
LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz.--First day leader Hawai`i Hilo began the second round on fire but that flame would soon extinguish on a rough day for the Vulcans at the Pacific West Conference Championships at the Wigwam Golf Club.
The Vulcans, who led the field at the end of Monday by a pair of shots, had four players birdie their first hole on Tuesday to increase their team lead. But that momentum would soon come to a grinding halt.
UH Hilo fell from first to fourth with a team score of 311, after filing a 293 on day one. Now at +28, the Vulcans are behind new leader Hawaii Pacific (+18), Dominican (+22) and Holy Names (+25). Still behind the Vulcans in fifth and sixth place are Academy of Art (+33) and Chaminade (+42).
Keith Ng, who birdied the first two holes on Tuesday to take a two-shot lead on the field, fell to earth after that hot start to turn in a scorecard with an 83 on it. He is now tied for 13th. Defending champion Keita Okada of Hawaii Pacific took over the tournament lead (69-71) by five strokes (-4) ahead of Holy Names’ Edvin Backstrom (+1) and Matt Fry (Dominican) at +2.
UHH’s Andrew Otani was a bright spot for his squad, shooting an even-par 72. He now sits at +3 for the tournament, tied for fourth place with HPU’s Ryan Torres. Dustin Franko had a 76 on Tuesday and is tied for eighth (+5). Noah Lau had three birdies on the front nine for a 34 but struggled on the back side and ended up with an 80. Nicholas Gomez checked in at 84.
The third and final round begins on Wednesday at 9 a.m. Pacific. The six teams are playing for the automatic berth into the NCAA West Region tournament, which goes to the champion.