Categorized | Golf, Sports

UH-Hilo’s Kozuma within a stroke of first place at NCAA DII Golf Championship


Corey Kozuma’s steady play has moved the freshman a stroke behind first place at the NCAA Division II Golf Championship on the Robert Trent Jones – The Shoals Fighting Joe Course in Florence, Ala.

After starting the day with a pair of bogeys, Kozuma went 4-under-par the rest of the way to turn in a 2-under-par 70 and sit at 2-under-par 142 after two rounds.

Kozuma bogeyed the 5th and 6th holes before settling down with birdies on the 9th, 10th, 15th and 16th holes.

Travis Russell earned the second round’s “comeback kid” honor after posting a 2-over-par 74.

“I hit the ball a lot better,” said Russell. “Finally hit some fairways which helped me hit more greens and putts.

“The winds weren’t too strong this morning and with the tighter fairways it kind of helped out. It gave us a few breaks on the shorter holes so you could attack more.”

After turning a first round 10-over-par 82, the freshman turned in a round of 14 pars, three bogeys and a birdie on the 193-yard, par-3 fifth hole.

“All you had to do was hit to the center of the green and everything would funnel down to the hole,” said Russell. “I hit it to about 10 feet of the hole. I just tried to put it in the circle and it ended up going in.”

“Birdies are hard to find out there but when you do you can definitely make up some shots on the field.”

Russell sits at 12-over-par, 156.

Blake Snyder ran off eight consecutive pars before a bogey-4 9th hole. The back nine wasn’t as smooth with Snyder riding a bogey-par-bogey rollercoaster until the double-bogey 16th. The finished with pars on the final two holes to end the day at 6-over-par 78. Snyder sits at 10-over-par 154.

A double and quadruple bogeys on the first three holes put Niel Cabico behind the eight ball early. He found quickly and went 2-over-par over the remaining holes with bogeys on the 5th and 12th holes. He finished at 8-over-par 80. After two rounds Cabico is at 13-over-par, 157.

Chris Shimomura went the other way en route to a 7-over-par 79. After birdies on the first two holes, Shimomura bounced between eight pars, seven bogeys and a double bogey on the 16th hole. For the tournament, he is at 11-over-par 155.

Top-ranked Lynn University holds a five-stroke lead in the team race at 582. They are followed by Cal State Monterey Bay (587), Abilene Christian (592), Central Missouri (593), Fort Lewis (597), Central Oklahoma (599), Indiana-PA (601), Hawaii Hilo (602), Newberry and Barton (606), Columbus State (608), Sonoma State and Colorado State-Pueblo (611), Barry (612), Concord (622), Missouri-St. Louis (623), Cameron (626), St. Thomas Aquinas (627), Wilmington (639) and American International (643).

NOTE: HPA graduate Kent Graham fired a 10-over-par 82 and is tied for 60th place at 11-over-par 155).

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