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Nishimoto, Castillo win 2010 Kaanapali Pro-Pro Championship

By Staff | Jul 29, 2010

Ron Castillo Jr. rolls his first putt on the 18th green. His second went in for par and the win.

KAANAPALI — The team of Wade Nishimoto and Ron Castillo Jr. shot -6 (65) on the Royal Kaanapali Course for a two-day total of -12 (129) to clench the win in the two-person (Pro-Pro) better ball tournament on July 19. 

It all came down to the final two holes.

The trade winds were light on the final day, which allowed for some great birdie opportunities on the Royal Course, which is designed to play with trades. 

It was a birdie on #17 that put Nishimoto and Castillo in the hunt for the trophy, one stroke ahead of round one leaders Ben Hongo and Kevin Shimomura, but still one stroke off Andrew Feldmann and Larry Stubblefield, who have a proven track record of wins as a team.

“All day today, we were trailing Feldmann and Stubblefield, who got an early start with a set of birdies on hole one,” Castillo stated. 

He added, “We didn’t really get going until the third and fourth, but it all really came down to 18.”

Castillo played his driver into the middle of the fairway on 18, a 440-yard, par four hole with a lagoon that snakes along the entire right side. 

Nishimoto placed his drive into the fairway, but came up short on his second shot and ended up in the drink. 

Feldmann’s drive was just off the left side fairway into the rough and knocked his approach into the hazard just off the green. 

Stubblefield ended up in the fairway bunker off his drive and was forced to lay up, only to then knock his third shot into the lagoon as well. 

Castillo had his eyes on the pin as he knocked his four iron to within 12 feet of the flag.

Feldmann played his shot from the hazard, only to have it roll back into the hazard again, making a tough shot to the pin even tougher. He knew he had to sink his 20-foot putt to force a playoff. 

Feldmann came up short, and they ended up with a double bogie. 

Castillo’s goal was to two-putt for the win. “I gave myself a little longer second putt then I planned, but I was able to sink it for the par on 18, putting Wade and I one stroke ahead,” he explained.

That putt was worth $2,000, split between the two-person team.

This was Nishimoto and Castillo’s first time teamed up together. Nishimoto was coming off an injury but was able to play conservatively, allowing Castillo to be more aggressive.

“The course was in excellent condition. The greens on both courses were fantastic, rolling true,” Nishimoto commented about the weekend.

Castillo added, “I haven’t played here (at Kaanapali) much lately, and with all the new bunkering since renovations, they made me have to really think about different spots I wanted to be landing from the tee. I enjoyed the layout of the courses.”

Feldmann and Stubblefield’s goal going into the tournament was to hit greens in regulation and give themselves chances for birdies. Their scorecard was nothing to be ashamed of, with one eagle and seven birdies on the final day.

Stubblefield said, “We try to support all the (Aloha Section) events. We like to play together as a team.

“We just have fun playing golf. The conditions were beautiful this weekend. The greens are rolling good; course set up was a fair test to the players.”

Ed Kageyama, Kaanapali’s PGA general manager, said, “We want to thank our sponsors: Srixon/Cleveland Golf and GPS Industries. It’s a great experience for the golf professionals to come together to compete and have fun, and we appreciate the support of our sponsors to be able to put together a great event like this.”